This is why we love football. For games like this one. Tense from the beginning, dramatic till the very last minute. Playoff football at its best!
How many times did we watch with envy those fans rooting for teams playing meaningful games in January? Well, now here we are! The Dallas Cowboys won a meaningful January game and they did it in classic Cowboys way.
Don’t even know where to start. Definitely not at the idiotic “controversy” surrounding the “non-call” flag. What a way to try to minimize the Cowboys spectacular comeback. The Lions gave a heck of a fight, and they don’t deserve either to get such an impressive effort, devaluated due to an stupid excuse.
Having taken that off my back, I have to start with Jason Garret and his coaching staff. It seemed at the beginning of the game, that the Cowboys were being out-coached, everything in the Lions game-plan was working perfectly. Even that running-onto-the-kicker flag, could be fingered to the coaches, why in hell would you rush the kicker in a situation like that? But they regrouped, they settled, and then the bold calls came.
4th & 6 with the season on the line and you go for it? Fail to convert and everybody in America, from LeBron James to Peter King would have eaten Jason Garrett for breakfast. But there he was, leading his men and showing them that he wanted to win this time.
That’s the big difference from the Cowboys of years past. They were so afraid to lose, that couldn’t focus on winning. You can lose, and maybe eventually they will, but you can’t be afraid of going for it. Just ask Jim Caldwell who had 4th & 1 in Cowboys territory and was too afraid to go get that one yard. If the Lions get that first down, they would have killed the game, but they were playing not to lose.
Then that Defense. Make no mistake, this game was won by the defense. After that ugly start, the defense got their swag back and held Detroit to 6 points in three quarters of football. Actually, they kept the Cowboys in the game. They got Calvin Johnson in check the whole day, and got the now traditional 3 takeaways. One deep in Detroit territory, two more in the last drive of the game (what a crazy series of events was that, right?) to seal the win. It was because of the defense that Tony Romo & Co. had the opportunity to make that comeback.
Jan 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett hugs Tony Romo (9) after defeating the Detroit Lions 24-20 in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Tony Romo. What a roller-coaster of a career has this guy had! Everybody waiting for him to choke at the worst possible moment, and he keeps delivering in the crunchiest of times. If the Cowboys ever win a Super Bowl with Romo, I’ll be so happy for that guy. I don’t think anybody in the world needs and deserves more a Super Bowl ring than Tony Romo. Not since Steve Young, a guy has had so much pressure on his shoulders to deliver a Super Bowl. Nothing Romo ever does, means a thing until he wins the big game. So unfair, but that’s the life of Tony Romo.
But maybe the best thing of all was looking that determination in the eyes of every Cowboys player. The passion displayed by DeMarco Murray after getting in the end zone; Romo in the floor celebrating as a little kid after throwing the winning touchdown to Terrance Williams; everything about Dez Bryant; J.J. Wilcox screaming at DeMarcus Lawrence after his rookie mistake; and DeMarcus Lawrence jumping like a child after getting his first sack in the NFL, making up for his previous mistake and sealing the first Cowboys playoff victory since 2010.
They just wanted it more than the Lions and that was the difference.
It was an instant classic that had it all: an amazing comeback, controversial calls, stupid mistakes, great throws, and lots of drama. For games like this is that we watch football, just to feel a little bit like we all did on Sunday night.
Bring on the Packers!
Jan 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) celebrates his touchdown run during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports