Cowboys
Seahawks
20 - 21 Final
  for this game

Romo's miscue dooms Cowboys in loss to Seahawks

Jan 7, 2007 - 7:14 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Tony Romo's first career playoff game will be forever remembered for one of the greatest gaffes in postseason history.

Romo mishandled a snap on a chip-shot field goal with just over a minute remaining as the Dallas Cowboys endured a painful 21-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in an NFC wild card game.

Having revitalized the Cowboys (9-8) this season after replacing veteran Drew Bledsoe as the starting quarterback, Romo looked like he would write another successful chapter in his Pro Bowl campaign after calmly leading his team into field-goal range.

When the Cowboys set up for a 19-yard field goal with 1:19 remaining, they looked to be on their way to their first playoff win in 10 years. However, things went drastically wrong.

Romo bobbled a perfect snap from L.P. Ladouceur. He picked up the loose ball and ran to his left but was tripped up from behind by Jordan Babineaux just shy of a first down at the 1, sending Qwest Field into a frenzy.

"I know how hard everyone in that locker room worked to get themselves in position to win that game today and for it to end like that, and for me to be the cause is very tough to swallow right now," Romo said. "I take responsibility for messing up at the end there. That's my fault. I cost the Dallas Cowboys a playoff win, and it's going to sit with me a long time."

"You coach long enough, you end up seeing just about everything," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "One more thing for the journal."

Babineaux knew he had to run down Romo.

"I had no choice. I had no choice. It's either catch him or go home," Babineaux said.

"It was just one of those things," said Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, who is 0-2 in the playoffs in four seasons with the club. "It looked like a good snap. I can't tell you what happened after that. We're an extra point from being down to the eight teams left. That's what's the hardest thing."

It was the last in a series of wild plays in the fourth quarter, which also featured a goal-line stand from the Cowboys and the Seahawks recording a safety.

On the play before his bobble, Romo completed a seven-yard pass to Jason Witten on 3rd-and-7 to the 1, a play originally ruled a first down. But after a replay, Witten was ruled to be just shy of the first down - a major factor since the Seahawks were out of timeouts.

Shaun Alexander, held in check the entire night, busted off a 20-yard run after Romo's miscues. After three more runs, the Seahawks were forced to punt, giving the Cowboys a final chance.

From midfield with two seconds left, Romo lofted a pass into the end zone that fell harmlessly to the ground, bringing a disappointing end to the Cowboys' season that was filled with Super Bowl expectations at the start. Dallas fell to 0-5 in the playoffs since 1996.

Romo completed 17-of-29 passes for 189 yards without a turnover. His 13-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Crayton with 11 seconds left in the first half gave the Cowboys a 10-6 lead.

Cowboys talkative wide receiver Terrell Owens also went down without a whimper as he managed just two catches for 26 yards against a Seahawks secondary that was missing three regulars.

The normally brash Owens felt bad for his quarterback.

"He made a lot of plays for us," Owens said. "That one play ... don't get too comsumed by that one play, because there were definitely a number of other opportunities during the course of the game. It didn't come down to that one play."

Overshadowed by the chaos was Matt Hasselbeck's 37-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jerramy Stevens with 4:24 remaining which gave the Seahawks a 21-20 lead. The duo also hooked up for a 15-yard TD in the third quarter.

The defending NFC champion Seahawks (10-7) will visit either Chicago or New Orleans next weekend in the divisional round.

"Some unusual things happened. That's the playoffs for you," Holmgren said

Martin Gramatica's 29-yard field goal with 10:15 remaining gave the Cowboys a 20-13 lead.

On the Seahawks' ensuing possession, they had a 1st-goal at the Dallas 1 following a 29-yard pass interference penalty on strong safety Roy Williams.

Alexander, who rushed for 69 yards on 24 carries, was dropped for a seven-yard loss on first down and Hasselbeck threw an incompletion before finding Stevens for six yards to the 2. On fourth down, Hasselbeck's intended pass for backup tight end Will Heller fell incomplete.

However, the Seahawks were able to come up with their own big defensive play on the Cowboys' next snap.

Veteran wide receiver Terry Glenn caught a screen on the left side but had the ball jarred loose by rookie cornerback Kelly Jennings. The ball caromed into the end zone, where linebacker Lofa Tatupu knocked it to teammate Michael Boulware for an apparent touchdown.

A replay showed Tatupu's foot out of bounds before he saved the ball, leaving the Seahawks with only a safety and a 20-15 deficit with 6:32 remaining. But the deficit didn't last long.

Four plays after the safety, Hasselbeck found Stevens, who ran by middle linbacker Bradie James, over the middle for a 37-yard score.

Hasselbeck completed 18-of-36 passes for 240 yards and two interceptions. Stevens had five receptions for 77 yards.

"I really do have a lot of comfort and confidence in Jerramy as a receiving tight end," Hasselbeck said. "To have him come up with two big touchdowns, it was good for him. I'm happy for him, but hopefully we can keep that going."

Romo looked like he would upstage Hasselbeck by completing 3-of-4 passes for 29 yards on the Cowboys' penultimate drive. Julius Jones also broke off a 35-yard run, but the Cowboys were unable to convert what amounted to an extra point.

"I apologize to all my teammates, and all of the fans that root us on out there today and this year," Romo said. "I take responsibility for this season coming to an end early." Jones rushed for 74 of his 112 yards in the fourth quarter.

After Hassebeck found Stevens for a 15-yard TD with 6:08 left in the third quarter to give the Seahawks a 13-10 lead, the Cowboys received a jolt from undrafted rookie Miles Austin on the ensuing kickoff.

Austin raced down the left sideline for a 93-yard touchdown, the Cowboys' first kickoff return for a TD in their illustrious playoff history.








  • WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
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    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 3 7 7 3 20
    SEATTLE 3 3 7 8 21 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SEA - FG, JOSH BROWN 23 YD, 3:47. Drive: 9
    plays, 55 yards in 3:47. Key plays:
    Hasselbeck 10-yard pass to Branch
    on 3rd-and-4 to Dallas 44;
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    SEATTLE 21 4:24 LEFT, 4TH QTR

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    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
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    DALLAS 3 7 7 17
    SEATTLE 3 3 7 13 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SEA - FG, JOSH BROWN 23 YD, 3:47. Drive: 9
    plays, 55 yards in 3:47. Key plays:
    Hasselbeck 10-yard pass to Branch
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    SEATTLE 13 6:08 LEFT, 3RD QTR

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    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
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    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SEA - FG, JOSH BROWN 23 YD, 3:47. Drive: 9
    plays, 55 yards in 3:47. Key plays:
    Hasselbeck 10-yard pass to Branch
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    PATRICK CRAYTON 13 YD PASS FROM TONY ROMO
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    DALLAS 10
    SEATTLE 6 0:11 LEFT, 2ND QTR

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    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SEA - FG, JOSH BROWN 23 YD, 3:47. Drive: 9
    plays, 55 yards in 3:47. Key plays:
    Hasselbeck 10-yard pass to Branch
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