My heart hurts. It is not quite the typical heartache, as it is due to sheer stress of the thrilling rollercoaster ride that took place at Quest Field in Seattle on Saturday night, overshadowing all the other games on NFL Wild Card Weekend.
- Firstly, wide receivers Darrell Jackson, the team leader in touchdowns, and D.J. Hackett (from...CSUN!?), both went down with injuries. Both starting cornerbacks in Marcus Trufant and Kelly Herndon were also out, along with center Robbie Tobeck. So before anyone even thinks to compare this team to last, know that you simply cannot.
- Michael Boulware has been through a tough season, but had a forced fumble and later a potentially huge recovery for a touchdown that was reversed. This guy has been my favorite player since his rookie year.
- 6:48 remaining: Dallas 20, Seattle 13. After a pass interference penalty in the end zone, the Seahawks have the ball with first and goal at the one yard line. They fail to punch in on all four opportunities and turn it over on downs.
- 6:42: Cowboys first play of the possession at their own one yard line. Tony Romo throws a quick completion to Terry Glenn who slips to the turf in trying to make a move. Rookie cornerback Kelly Jennings strips the ball into the endzone. A number of Seahawks make a run for it, Lofa Tatupu makes an amazing athletic dive to toss the ball back into the field for Michael Boulware to recover for a touchdown. After a lenghty review, Tatupu had his toe out of bounds as he tosses the ball and it is ruled a safety. This is one of those wacky plays that must be seen to understand.
- 4:31: Here is why the safety turned out to be better than the touchdown. A touchdown would have tied it at 20 but given the ball back to the Cowboys. Instead, the safety made it 20-15 but gave the Seahawks the ball and good field position at midfield after a free kick and Nate Burleson return. Hasselbeck hits Jerramy Stevens for a 37-yard strike for his second touchdown. Here is another guy who has been through a tough season but steps up big here. A failed two point conversion attempt leaves us at 21-20.
- 1:19: Cowboys driving down the field, aided by a long Julius Jones run up the middle. Seahawks burn their timeouts hoping the stop the clock and get the ball back. Tony Romo's pass to tight end Jason Witten is complete at the one yard line for a first down. This meant that Dallas could knee it a couple of times, run down the clock, and kick the game winning field goal as time experies. However, upon the officials' review, Lofa Tatupu's tackle is found to have been made just short of the first down making it fourth and half a yard. The Cowboys line up to kick the go-ahead field goal only to have starting quarterback Tony Romo fumble the snap, make a run for the goal line before being tackled by Jordan Barbineaux.
- Sports Illustrated's Don Banks eloquently summed it up, writing, "Twenty years from now -- no, make it 30 or maybe 40 -- we'll still be asking each other, 'Where were you when Romo dropped the ball?'' Saturday night's instant classic in Seattle gave us that kind of unforgettable sports moment. The stakes and the stage were that large. The drama that exquisite."