Dallas Cowboys' Epic Meltdown: National Media Reactions

Early national reactions to the loss against the Packers.

Green Bay Packers rally, while Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys collapse - SI.com
Don Banks calls the loss an "epic meltdown", even by Dallas standards.

As painful as the loss was for Dallas, the aftermath might be worse. The recriminations of the defeat started almost immediately, with Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett unwisely outing Romo in the postgame for having changed a run call to a pass on the game's pivotal play: the interception Romo threw to Packers cornerback Sam Shields with 2:46 remaining and the Cowboys clinging to a 36-31 lead.

In spectacular comeback, Packers defeat Cowboys 37-36 - ProFootballTalk
For once, PFT forsake the snark, but their conclusions are sobering nonetheless:

Now, the attention turns to how the Cowboys respond after being caught near the wire. Thus begins a long, long week of discussion of Romo’s legacy, of the defense’s shortcomings, of what it all means to a franchise that hasn’t won a division title since 2009.

Still, with a win Sunday at Washington, Dallas will have a shot at the NFC East title no matter how Philadelphia fares against Chicago next Sunday night. If the Cowboys win the next their two games, they win the division.

First, though, they need to shake this one off.

Bizarre Cowboys play-calling spurs historic Packers comeback - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Bob McGinn writes that there wouldn't have been enough possessions for the Packers to make a comeback if Jason Garrett and Bill Callahan had simply given the ball to Murray, and garnishes his article with choice quotes from Packers players.

"Oh, my God," nose tackle Ryan Pickett said. "It's the best zone scheme in the league. They say it's old, the Wisconsin scheme. The last four weeks, nobody could stop it - their zone scheme. And they gave up on it. We're just happy they did. We were, like, 'OK, we'll take it.' "

"We watched (Murray) last week with the coaches and we said, 'This guy is the real deal,'" Pickett added. "He's tough, fast and so deceptively strong. He's one of the most underrated backs."

"Definitely surprised they threw the ball there," CB Tramon Williams said. "I'm glad they did. Obviously, it kept us in the game."

Sorting the Sunday Pile: Tony Romo back unfairly under the bus - CBSSports.com
Will Brinson takes a long, hard look at yesterday's game and visualizes the Cowboys run-aversion with a revealing table.

Seriously. Look at the Cowboys' five second-half drives -- mind you they began with a 26-3 lead -- and the way Jason Garrett and Bill Callahan managed the offense in the second half:

Drive - Quarter/Start Time
Pass Attempts
Rush Attempts
Yards
Time
Result
1 - 3rd/13:08
4
4
48
6:35
FG
2 - 3rd/1:09
3
0
-13
1:03
Punt
3 - 4th/12:47
6
1
80
4:52
TD
4 - 4th/4:17
3
1
15
2:19
INT
5 - 4th/1:31
3
0
9
0:10
INT

Again, no question Romo screwed up. He made a massive mental error and compounded with a physical error. But if you act like he's the one who made the decision to only run the ball six times in the second half and he's the one who gave up 34 second-half points to Matt Flynn you're being blinded by trees.

Tony Romo's interceptions cap wild Packers comeback - NFL.com
The Dallas Cowboys somehow blew a 23-point halftime lead to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, falling 37-36. Cowboys signal-caller Tony Romo was picked off on Big D's final two drives.

The Jason Garrett era in Dallas has been defined by excruciating, inexplicable losses. At times it feels like they are carefully constructing games in order to inflict the most pain on their fans and themselves.

Jason Garrett: Tony Romo should've handed off on INT - NFL.com
It was quarterback Tony Romo - not coach Jason Garrett - who decided to throw instead of run on a crucial play in the Dallas Cowboys' loss. The play ended in a Sam Shields interception.

Cowboys stew after huge collapse on Romo’s errors - USA Today
USA Today writes that the scrutiny will only intensify in Dallas over the next two weeks - on Tony Romo and the Dallas defense for their "epic second-half meltdowns - because of all the terrible losses this season, this one felt worse than any other.

Blown star state: Cowboys' collapse won't be forgotten - Yahoo Sports
Yahoo's Eric Adelson goes hard after Romo.

In what surely will be remembered as the most preposterous regular-season choke in franchise history, the most volatile quarterback in recent NFL history threw two fourth-quarter interceptions to complete a 23-point meltdown in the second half that might define him over all the other meltdowns that already define him.

No, it wasn't Romo who allowed Matt Flynn to score at will on the Cowboys' home field. No, it wasn't Romo who called those first three pass plays on the second-to-last drive (we can only hope). And no, this doesn't mean the end of the Cowboys' playoff hopes. But yes, it's another chapter in the cringe-inducing Book of Tony. For three straight seasons now, he's been on the verge of the playoffs and then done something staggeringly woeful to risk (or ruin) the hopes of every fan of America's Team.

Dallas Cowboys: Green Bay makes historic comeback, beats Cowboys - The Oklahoman
Another game, another record set against the Cowboys: Sunday's game marked Green Bay's largest come-from-behind win in the franchise's 94-year history.

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