Although there is still some coverage of the moment now knows as "The Overturn" to look at, it is wise to keep what Jason Garrett said in mind: One bad call by the referees did not determine the outcome of the game.
Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones is a member of the NFL's Competition Committee, and he is certain that the confusing decision to overturn the spectacular catch by Dez Bryant will be reviewed.
"There is no question,'' Jones said. "I mean, every time one like this hits we discuss it.
"The old tuck rule. Are you kidding me? There are 99 people out of 100 in a bar that will say Tom Brady fumbled the ball (back in 2002 Divisional Game). Tuck rule, and now no one wants to change it.
"Same thing with this a little bit. I mean, Calvin Johnson, 99 people out of 100 in a bar will tell you he caught the ball. Dez caught the ball. Everybody saw he caught the ball.''
Jean-Jaques Taylor has been making an awful lot of sense lately. And he points out something that the Overturn cost everyone.
It's a shame, really, because we should be talking about a riveting game filled with the kind of ebb and flow that has made football America's pastime.
There were several moments besides the Overturn when Dallas could have seized control of the game and advanced. They didn't.
Instead, the team that looked to be the better of the two sides on that field in Green Bay for much of the afternoon had to pack up its belongings and head to the airport with their season over. There is nothing fair about the playoffs. "Deserved" has nothing to do with it. Either you make the plays at the appropriate time or the dream dies. 12 teams make the playoffs and 11 will have a similar obituary at some point of this month. It is what you strive for, because so many NFL teams just want to taste the playoffs - but it is also what awaits; the cold, difficult reality that it is now over and the team must go back to the start and try again next season.
This article from Forbes looks at the wider implications of the Overturn, and although the last sentence is debatable, the rest of this quote is dead on.
Much has been said over the years about the NFL's predilection for ridiculousness. The mathematician-like precision of measuring for a first down while the ball is just generally placed at the conclusion of most plays is one example of many. Yesterday's conclusion to the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers playoff game made another example clear. The definition of what is a catch is ridiculous and probably cost the Cowboys a playoff win.
As much as it hurts to say it, this from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Bob McGinn is probably the truth.
If Tony Romo's fourth-and-2 thunderbolt to Bryant for 31 yards had gone unchallenged by coach Mike McCarthy, the Cowboys surely would have plowed in for the final yard and taken either a 27-26 or 29-26 lead depending on the result of a probable two-point try.
Still, there would have been almost 4 minutes for the Packers either to score the winning touchdown or have reliable Mason Crosby kick the tying field goal and force overtime.
One of the unexpected standouts this season was free agent acquisition DE Jeremy Mincey. He became a leader on the defense, and spoke about the nature of this team.
"I'm still proud of my men - I don't give a damn what nobody says, I'm proud of them," Mincey said. "Every man in this locker room, fighting all the way up to this point. Nobody expected nothing out of us, you know? So, we came out here and handled business - we just could have done it in a better fashion and left on a better note."
Four Cowboys made the list: Dez Bryant, Travis Frederick, DeMarco Murray, and Tyron Smith. It was the most of any team, and an example of the strength of the offense Dallas has built.
Turning our focus to the future:
A very sad moment comes at the end of each season, when everyone cleans out their locker - and no one knows for certain who will be back.
"Man, it hurts," cornerback Brandon Carr said. "I mean it's so hard to get in the playoffs. It's so hard to win games period. You've invested so much. Guys gave it their all through the season, nine months, throughout the whole year basically just for this season, these 17, or 20 weeks. It's always hard to be packing your bag and know you got to sit at home and watch the rest of the playoffs play out."
The first order of business for Dallas is to get the coaching staff signed to new contracts. The decision was made to have most of the staff on contracts that expired this year to have flexibility. After the 13-5 season, those coaches now have a lot of leverage.
"There is a three day period here where we will not grant anyone permission to talk to anyone unless it's to become a head coach,'' Jones said. "We'll be trying to sign our guys.
"My priority is to sign our staff.''
Garrett tops the priority list. Jones stated publicly in December that he thought it was in the best interest of the team for Garrett to return. Garrett has consistently deflected questions publicly about a new contract but has let it be known that he wants to return.
There has been a lot of speculation that Rod Marinelli will leave Dallas to rejoin his old head coach Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay. Some of us have wondered about whether he really wants to jump from a franchise that had a very good season and looks to be on the rise into the middle of a raging dumpster fire.
"We fully expect for him to come back," said Jones. "It would certainly be disappointing if that didn't happen. But we're going to go to work and try to extend his contract or get him a new contract so that he'll be a Dallas Cowboy.
"At the end of the day, we're really going to put forth a lot of effort here. It's our top priority is to keep our coaching staff together."
Marinelli's players are pulling for the Cowboys to make him an offer he can't refuse.
"Tell him he better stay here, man," defensive end Jeremy Mincey said. "I got so much respect for Coach Rod, man. If he did leave, I would still be happy for him, but we definitely want him here. We got a lot of love and respect for him. He coaches the game the right way and he's one of the greatest to do it."
Despite all the rumors about Marinelli, Bill Callahan, architect of the offensive line, is probably the most likely coach to be lost. He was demoted when the team brought Scott Linehan in, and has to feel some resentment on being refused permission to seek another job last offseason. However, the reports of how much interest there is in him may be inflated by his agent to up his price. It's how it is done.
The Cowboys will have a hard time retaining Callahan, whose contract is now up. He handled offensive play-calling for the Cowboys last season under coach Jason Garrett but had those duties stripped from him. Callahan wasn't happy with the way it was handled, and Scott Linehan was hired last offseason to take over the play-calling.
Getting the questions on the coaching staff resolved will determine whether they will be working in Arizona in a couple of weeks.
As the highest-seeded losers in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs, the Cowboys are eligible to send their coaching staff to Glendale, Ariz., to coach the Pro Bowl on Jan. 25.
There's one problem with that scenario, however. Following Sunday's 26-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers, many members of the Cowboys' coaching staff are out of contract.
This is included to show that even a team with a highly praised GM like John Elway can find itself in turmoil. It is another bit of evidence that the endless criticism of Jerry Jones is not as valid as some think. Fox led his team to the Super Bowl last year and a first round bye this season, but the embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks and the one and done this year were just not good enough. For either side.
Broncos coach John Fox arrived at the team's headquarters Monday morning knowing it was time to move on.
Broncos general manager John Elway walked into his office Monday morning convinced he needed to make a change with his head coach.
Later reports indicate that the entire staff has been told they should be looking for new jobs.
After the coaching situation is resolved, the question of which free agent players are re-signed and who under contract could be released or renegotiated will be the focus. Brandon Carr may be one player who will be asked to take a pay cut, although his improved play late in the season will be a factor.
"Why wouldn't you want to be back with a special group like this?" Carr said. "There was so much, a lot of adversity, nobody expected too much of you. We forged together and fought through it all and found a way to come out and be successful. I love these guys, man."
He's not the only defensive piece that could go. Bruce Carter, Justin Durant, Nick Hayden, Rolando McClain, George Selvie and Anthony Spencer are all unrestricted free agents.
One player who is highly unlikely to be affordable for the Cowboys, no matter how much they'd like to keep him, is Murray. The realities of the league have changed for running backs.
In another time and another place, if you lead the NFL and set a franchise single-season rushing record with 1,845 yards while scoring 13 TDs and hauling such a load that you record a league-high 392 carries, you get paid.
You get paid $7 million or $9 million or $14 million, like LeSean McCoy or Arian Foster or Matt Forte or most of all, like Adrian Peterson.
But this is not that time. This is not that place.