of Ignominious Season-Ending Turnovers for the Dallas Cowboys -
1966 NFL Championship Game - From the Packers two yard line, Don Meredith throws an interception to Tom Brown in the end zone with just seconds left to lose to Green Bay 34-27
1970 Super Bowl V - With the score tied 13-13, Craig Morton throws an interception (off the outstretched hands of Dan Reeves) that leaves the Colts on the Cowboys' 28 yard line; 2 plays later Baltimore kicks the field goal that wins the game 16-13.
1975 Super Bowl X - Down 21-17 to the Steelers, Roger Staubach's final "Hail Mary" attempt from Pittsburgh's 37 yard line is intercepted in the end zone by Glenn Edwards.
1976 NFC Divisional Playoff - Despite a miserable performance, Roger Staubach found himself in position to get his Cowboys ahead with 1:29 left in the game. But on 4th and 10 Staubach passed to tight end Billy Joe Dupree for nine yards, giving the ball up on downs on the Rams nine-yard line.
1979 NFC Divisional Playoff - It was Cowboy Legend Roger Staubach's final game, and he ended it by throwing a 4th down completion to guard Herb Scott in the final minute, cementing a 21-19 loss to the Los Angeles Rams and ending the Staubach era.
1981 NFC Championship Game - The Cowboys still had a chance even after "The Catch." After Drew Pearson was horse-collared following a 31-yard pass from Danny White, the Cowboys needed about 15 yards to get within range for a Rafael Septien game-winning field goal attempt. But on the next play, White was sacked and fumbled by the 49ers, clinching a devastating 28-27 loss.
2007 NFC Divisional Playoff - Tony Romo's 4th down desperation pass from New York's 23-yard line is intercepted in the end zone, sealing an upset 21-17 loss to the Giants.
2011 "Winner Take All" - Down 21-18 late in the 4th quarter at Washington, Romo throws an ill-advised pass to DeMarco Murray, which is intercepted deep in Dallas territory and leads to the clinching Redskins touchdown.
Am I missing any playoff or virtual playoff games for the Cowboys where the offense committed a game-ending gaffe or dagger?
When have the Cowboys ever stopped an opposing offense in such critical moments? We can agree that last night, the defense stood tall. When else in the glorious history of this franchise has Doomsday risen up and made the clutch stop when it was so desperately needed?
There was the 1970 NFC Divisional Playoff against the Detroit Lions, when Hall of Famer Mel Renfro made a game saving interception deep in Dallas territory to save a 5-0 win. And the 35-34 season finale in 1979, where Larry Cole stymied John Riggins on a 3rd and 2 run to force the Redskins to punt to Roger Staubach (and the rest was history), and the 1991 NFC Wildcard, where Bill Bates intercepted Jim Harbaugh on the Bears' final possession to preserve a hard-fought 17-13 triumph. Even the 1995 championship run included defensive heroics - all by Larry Brown - who intercepted Brett Favre late in the 4th with the Cowboys preserving a 31-27 lead, and of course his 2nd interception of Neil O'Donnell slamming the door shut on the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX.
Is that it? Has the Dallas Cowboys defense really not had a genuinely clutch moment since then? I recall them being unable to stop the Seahawks on a 3rd and long RUNNING PLAY after Romo's infamous FG snap fumble, and Jason Hatcher giving the Redskins a critical first down with an unsportsmanlike penalty last year. But otherwise, I can't recall any moments in the post-Jimmy Johnson Era where the Dallas Cowboys defense truly stood firm when it mattered most.
Why did I compile this list? I dunno, just to commiserate with my fellow fans. Misery loves company. Join me, brothers and sisters, for the weeping and gnashing of teeth, and let us rent our garments. Such will be our state of affairs until this Reign of Choking ends.