The Dallas Cowboys were very close to ending their 2013 season against the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon. It wasn't a given that mathematically they would have been eliminated with a loss, that would depend on what the Eagles did on Sunday night. But mentally, this team probably would have reached a point of no return. Carrying a 14-6 lead into the third quarter, the Cowboys promptly coughed that up to eventually fall behind by nine points to a three-win team. The Cowboys were turning the ball over and giving the Redskins second chances on stupid penalties. Even when they did drive down to try and cut into the nine-point lead, they initially had to settle for a FG.
Then a miracle happened.
The Cowboys defense made two stops of the Redskins offense when things were most desperate. Once the Cowboys cut the lead to 23-17, the Cowboys defense gave up one first down and forced the Redskins to punt. They only gave up 19 yards and roughly two and a half minutes on the game clock. This gave Tony Romo plenty of time to pull off one final drive and put the Cowboys back on track. This time, Romo came through, even overcoming a very bad decision by DeMarco Murray on a third down at the goal line. Luckily, Murray had a chance to redeem himself with the go-ahead touchdown. Then, the Cowboys defense did it one more time when they stopped the Redskins on four downs to preserve the 24-23 victory.
Nothing the Cowboys did today really gives you anymore confidence about their chances next week or in the playoffs if they make it that far. On the other hand, the Cowboys players showed some resolve, some fortitude in coming back for the win. They at least kept some slim hopes alive that this season will at least end a little different than the previous two years.
We'll find out the answer next week against the Eagles.