For All The Marbles

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Well Cowboys fans, it has all come down to this. For the second season in a row, week 17 means a do or die game for the Dallas Cowboys in order for them to make the playoffs. Last year, the Cowboys got blown out in New Jersey against the Giants, and this year they head to Washington to take on the rival Redskins. I’m sure all of you are hoping for a better outcome this year, as last time the Giants jumped out to a big lead and cruised to victory. Some fans will point to the fact that Romo has learned from his mistakes from these type of games, but unfortunately the numbers do not back that up. In his career, Tony Romo is just 1-5 in do or die games in week 17 or the postseason. Many of these games have been decided by a specific blunder (the home playoff game against Seattle) but recently they have been blowouts. Last year it was 31-14 Giants, and in 2009 after beating the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs the Cowboys lost to the Vikings 34-3. The year before that, it was a week 17 loss to the Eagles 44-6.

For those who say the Cowboys will buck the trend, there is reason to be hopeful. This season the Cowboys have played like an entirely different team, especially for the second half of the year. When the Dallas Cowboys of last year would fade in December, this year they have beaten the Eagles, Bengals, and Steelers. In old seasons when Tony Romo would fade in the fourth quarter, this year he has shone through to win games that seemed lost. If not for a couple of missed field goals and a few close calls, the Cowboys would be in the playoffs already. Their recent success provides hope for all of the Cowboys fans who have been tortured in these situations in the past few years. This one is for all the marbles, and will be as exciting as they come.

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