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12/02/2012

Replacement refs football affecting Dallas Cowboys playoff chances

Up7Gh.St.58Your Dallas Cowboys are 6-6. Order your Super Bowl tickets now.

Thanks to the Cowboys' 38-33 win against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night, the Cowboys have extended your hope ... or pain.

1. Remember when Jerry Jones was cavalier about the replacement refs earlier this season? When asked about the replacement referees after that joke on Sept. 24 in Seattle when the Seahawks were handed a win against the Packers thanks to a wretched last-second call on a TD that was an interception, Jerry said he thought the officials were doing a fine job.

Kind of a big deal now.
The Bears (8-4) and Seahawks (7-5) own the two NFC wildcard spots, and both teams have head-to-head wins against the Cowboys should there be any sort of a tie.

The Seahawks should be 6-6, but thanks to those replacement refs they have that seventh win and are in a better position for a wildcard.

2. Dez Bryant.
He’s a pain in the a$$, but it does appear as if our favorite Oklahoma State Dallas Cowboy is really getting this football thing. The man really can’t be covered, or tackled by a cornerback. Dez had six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday night. Dez has six TDs in the last four games.

3. DeMarco Murray. The bad offensive line suddenly didn’t look so horrid and the anemic running game had some life when Murray returned for the first time since hurting his foot on Oct. 14 in Baltimore. Murray finished the game with 83 yards on 23 carries but the numbers should have been bigger. He took an 11 yard loss on his final carry of the game when the Cowboys were trying to run out the clock.
A1jJm.St.58Of course, it really helped the Cowboys were playing the Eagles.
These are the Cowboys’ rushing stats since Murray went out:
at Car. 31 for 85 yds.
vs. NYG 17 for 19 yds.
at Atl 18 for 65 yds.
at Phi 25 for 101 yds.
vs. Cle 21 for 63 yds.
vs. Wash 11 for 35 yds.
vs. Phi 33 for 123 yds.

4. The middle of the Cowboys defense. Weak.
Not that anybody has noticed the work by Josh Brent in recent weeks but there is no denying the loss of Sean Lee, Bruce Carter and Barry Church continues to hurt this team. The Eagles ran pretty much wherever they wanted – Philly RB Bryce Brown ran 24 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
A lot is forgiven when Josh Brent forced Brown to fumble late in the fourth quarter and Morris Claiborne returned it 50 yards for a game-clinching touchdown.

SHzHl.St.585. Morris Claiborne. Kinda fast. On Sunday night, he really made up for the bad game he had in Philly when he was penalized six times.

6. Doug Free. It’s clear by now whatever he had going for him a few years ago is gone. He is not strong, and routinely gets pushed backwards and is unable to hold the edge on blocks. He leads all NFL o-linemen with 12 penalties. Whatever it’s worth, he was better in the second half.

7. NBC cameras have a thing for Tony Romo’s lady friends.
You may have forgotten but on Dec. 25, 2006 the Cowboys hosted the Eagles when NBC cameras caught Jessica Simpson wearing a pink Cowboys No. 9 jersey for a priceless pop culture/NFL picture.
On Sunday night, NBC cameras fell in love with Romo’s wife, Candace. It would have been better if she wore a pink No. 9 Romo jersey.
Actually, it would have been better had she worn a Kyle Orton jersey.

8. Tony Romo.
Can't bag on Romo. In the second half, he was 10 for 10 for 169 yards with three TDs. In the past five games, Romo is 138 for 200 for 1,587 yards, 10 TDs and two INTs.

13bvy9.St.58
9. Tony Romo is the Dallas Cowboys all-time leader in career TD passes.

You may think he sucks, but this is a pretty significant number and achievement.

9.5 Jason Garrett. Still has a job. His challenge of a spot on the final play of the third quarter on a 4th-and-1 play was reversed, and the Cowboys scored a touchdown a few plays later. It saved the game.

10. The Cowboys are 1-0 in December. If you want to believe they are reversing their December collapse trend … do so at your own risk.

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

Kate & Jim from Arlington

We still suck. I wish we would have lost. I want to care and believe but this team makes it so hard. I hate us.

DougO

Mac, it wasn't thanks to the replacement refs that Seattle was handed that game. It was thanks to the same replay refs that are still there, that didn't overturn an obviously blown call in which there's no way the refs could have seen the play in real time from their spots on the field.

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