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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Tags: 2010 NFC Championship Game, Adrian Peterson, Cowboys vs. Vikings Playoffs, Cowboys vs. Vikings recap, Dallas Cowboys, Fire Wade Phillips, Minnesota Vikings, nfl playoff scoreboard, Tony Romo, Vikings Cowboys, Vikings Cowboys score, Vikings vs. Saints, Wade Phillips, Wade Phillips future, Will the Cowboys fire Wade Phillips