It took a long time for this game to come. I'm not just talking about having to wait for the last game of the day or even having to wait through a bye week.
We have been waiting for this game since Tony Romo first broke his finger at the end of the Arizona game. Things were starting to look bad for Dallas and then losing Romo really hurt. From the time we heard how long he was going to be out, the Redskin game was the one the was circled on the schedule.
The job was just to survive the three games without him. They salvaged a game against Tampa Bay, putting themselves in position to make a run at the playoffs. That is what made this game so big. Not only were the Cowboys essentially playing for their playoff lives, but it was against the Redskins.
It is a little early to be throwing out the "must win" label on a game, but this game was a must win. A loss to the Redskins probably would have marked the end of Wade Phillips' tenure as the head coach of the 'Boys. It would have also marked the end of the of the postseason hopes for a team that had high aspirations heading into the season (seems to be a theme with my teams this season).
No one wanted to commit either way during the pregame shows about what they thought would happen in this game. There seemed to be a wait-and-see attitude toward this game. There is no doubt the Cowboys can be good. The question that had to be answered was will they be good.
At times they were good, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They also had some areas that still need some work. They most impressive thing about the game was the Cowboys ability to finish off the game.
With a little more than six minutes to play Dallas got the ball and never gave it back to Washington. There is something to be said for a team that can do that. Too often you see teams lose games because they can't finish. Marion Barber made sure that was not going to be the case for the Cowboys.
In a place that has been hard to play, Dallas came up with a big win when they had to. There is still a lot of season left, but the most important thing is, there is a lot of season left to play for.
They have to avoid the let down game next week against San Francisco and see if they can get this thing back on a roll. Get hot, get into the playoffs and see what happens. It was a formula the Giants used successfully last season.