THE Game of Week 17
The final game of the regular season was a game for “all the marbles”. The winner of the Dallas Cowboys at the Washington Redskins would host a game next week in the playoffs as the champion of the NFC East. The loser would go home.
It was hard fought until just over three minutes left in the third quarter, and the Redskins scored, making the margin 14-7.
Would this be another defeat for Dallas that was almost identical to last year? Would Tony Romo, and his coach, Jason Garrett go home to watch the playoffs instead of being part of them?
The fourth quarter began with Dallas moving the ball. With just over 14 minutes to go in the game, they kicked a field goal, score, 14-10. Then, with 10 and a half minutes remaining, Alfred Morris, the sensational rookie running back for Washington, ran the ball for a touchdown. Score, Washington 21, Dallas 10.
Morris became the all time single season rusher for the Redskins a few plays earlier. The combination of RGIII and Morris, and the addition of coach Mike Shanahan, have once again made Washington a contender.
With nine minutes left in the game, Romo was sacked by 15 year veteran linebacker London Fletcher. I looked like Dallas was repeating a level of futility that not even the “experts” could understand. If I was a billionaire, and built a stadium that cost hundreds of millions of dollars for fans that expected a quality team, able to reach the playoffs, the coach and quarterback would be on my list of those I would eliminate.
But Romo wasn’t finished yet. With 5:50 left in the game he threw a touchdown pass, completed a 2 point conversion, and the score was 21-18, Washington.
With 1 minute and 9 seconds left the Redskins scored a touchdown. Final score 28-18.
Romo threw three interceptions, and criticized his teammates frequently. He wasn’t always wrong, but he proved himself to be less of a leader than a critic.
Dallas may never be a great team again as long as their owner demands control, and makes poor decisions with the coaching staff and critical players. It’s a sad situation for a team that was once a dominant force in the game.
For the other side, it’s exciting to see the Washington Redskins become a competitive team once again.