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Dallas Cowboys: Dallas loses to Philadelphia, fails to make playoffs again

For the first time since Jerry Jones purchased the team in 1989 — only the second time the past 50 years — the Cowboys will miss the NFL playoffs four consecutive years.
by Michael Baldwin Published: December 29, 2013
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photo - Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton (18) leaves the field after throwing an interception to Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin (22) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. The Eagles won 24-22. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton (18) leaves the field after throwing an interception to Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin (22) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. The Eagles won 24-22. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

ARLINGTON, Texas — The 2013 Dallas Cowboys produced yet another .500 season, capped by yet another loss in the regular season finale.

But it was a wild, wacky journey to 8-8.

Playing without quarterback Tony Romo, Dallas backup Kyle Orton and the Cowboys had a shot in a winner-take-all matchup Sunday night at AT&T Stadium. But the Cowboys fell a 2-point conversion short in a 24-22 loss to Philadelphia.

For the first time since Jerry Jones purchased the team in 1989 — only the second time the past 50 years — the Cowboys will miss the playoffs four consecutive years.

“You have to just keep banging away,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. “Unfortunately we've haven't taken that next step. That's something we have to look at, see how we can break through. We had a great chance tonight to win the NFC East. We were right there but didn't get it done.”

Jones has said he has no intention of firing Garrett but declined to address the subject after the game.

“About three or four weeks ago I said at that time I was with Jason, about his future, what he's going to be doing with us was good. This isn't the time,” Jones said. “I don't even like the way it feels or looks to speak to anything about our coaches.”

It's the third consecutive season Dallas has lost a win-or-go-home regular season finale. The Cowboys lost a similar game to the Redskins last season and the Giants in 2011.

“It is unbelievable, unthinkable really for me to be sitting here three years in a row and this game ended up putting us at .500 and this game eliminating us from going to the playoffs,” Jones said. “I thought some of the changes we had made this year would put us in better shape tonight.”

For Garrett and the Cowboys it was an “almost” season.

Similar to losses to the Broncos, Lions and Packers, the Cowboys suffered another what-might-have-been loss to fall to 2-12 in their last 14 regular-season finales.

This finale was similar to other tough losses this year — Matthew Stafford's quarterback leap in Detroit; the Cowboys squandering a 23-point halftime lead two weeks ago against Green Bay; and a 48-45 early season loss to Denver, the outcome decided by Romo's late-game interception.

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by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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