What’s next for Romo, Phillips?

If recent history was any indication, a Cowboy postseason defeat was inevitable. They had played well throughout December and had gotten the playoff monkey off their backs with a first round rout over the Eagles last week. It figures that Tony Romo and Wade Phillips were due to fail, which they did in Dallas’ 34-3 loss to Minnesota on Sunday.

Romo didn’t play well today, but blame could hardly be put solely on his shoulders. He was under constant pressure because his offensive linemen couldn’t block a statue and he also received little to no help from his running game. That said, there was no excuse for him to turn the ball over three times. His fumble in the second quarter set up a Vikings’ field goal and his brutal interception late in the second half sealed any comeback attempt by the Cowboys.

The turnovers didn’t help, but what killed the Cowboys most of all was the fact that they couldn’t finish off drives. Several times throughout the game Romo led Dallas into Minnesota territory and failed to generate points. Of course, if the Cowboys had anything resembling a kicker they would have sported more than a field goal on the scoreboard. Shaun Suisham missed two field goals and essentially sealed his fate in Dallas this offseason.

As for Phillips, there’s not much more he could have done in terms of play calling. His defense just failed to execute and the big play doomed them in the end. Phillips was able to drum up some pressure and Dallas did a great job containing Adrian Peterson, but they couldn’t come up with that big stop to turn the momentum in their favor.

The question now becomes: Will Jerry Jones keep the combination of Romo and Phillips in the offseason? There’s no doubt that the ‘Boys failed to live up to Jones’ expectations, but Romo and Phillips each turned in a great season. I would have to imagine that Romo will be around in 2010, but there’s no guarantee for Phillips. People said he had to win a playoff game to keep his job, and he did that. But after they played so poorly today, that may not have been enough.

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Favre, Rice, Vikes’ defense crush Cowboys

For those that have been waiting for the Cowboys to self-destruct since December, your wait is officially over. Dallas was a complete disaster in the Metrodome on Sunday, as the Vikings pounded the Cowboys 34-3 to advance to the NFC Championship Game.

The Vikings were led by a defense that harassed Tony Romo the entire afternoon and forced three turnovers. Minnesota’ held Dallas’ potent rushing attack to less than 100 yards (92) and just 248 yards of total offense. They also sacked Romo six times and gave him zero time to scan the field and find open receivers (not that there were many to choose from).

Offensively, the combination of Brett Favre and Sidney Rice absolutely terrorized Dallas’ secondary. Favre completed 15-of-24 passes for 234 yards and four touchdowns, while Rice caught six passes for 141 yards and three scores. Given how well he played, I wouldn’t be surprised if fans inside the Metrodome confused Rice for Randy Moss. That’s how good he played today.

The Vikings showed today that when they play up to their potential, they’re as good as anyone in the league. A Saints-Vikings matchup was the best the NFC could offer and that’s exactly what fans will get next week. It should be a thriller at the Superdome.

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If the Vikings lose on Sunday, would signing Favre have been a waste?

The Minnesota Vikings didn’t just sign Brett Favre in the offseason: They jumped through every hoop and hopped every hurdle in front of them in order to acquire the ageless one, including alienating Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson in the process. (And while I can’t prove it, I also fully believe that Brad Childress sold his soul in order to sign Favre as well.)

That’s why if the Vikings lose this Sunday to the Dallas Cowboys, signing Favre would have arguably been a waste. A team like Minnesota doesn’t subject itself the way it did this offseason to sign a 40-year old quarterback to lose in the second round of the playoffs. It signs a 40-year old drama queen because he’s worth it and to ensure that the team is going to have a shot at winning the Super Bowl.

Okay, so there are no sure things in pro football. Signing Favre didn’t guarantee anything for the Vikings, but they knew that they were a legit passing attack away from being a Super Bowl contender and so far, suffering through Favre’s drama this offseason has been worth it.

But if they lose this weekend, then they would have accomplished nothing. Favre isn’t going to play forever (uh, I think) and the Vikings’ window of opportunity to win a Super Bowl has been shrinking since Week 1. If they lose to the Cowboys, then the Vikes will have won precisely the same amount of playoff games with Tarvaris Jackson under center last year: Zero.

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