In recent years, you could always count on the Cowboys to find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the final moments of the game with a turnover, penalty or some other kind of crushing mistake.
That’s changed a bit in the last stretch of games. The Cowboys have won five of their last six games and they have been tied or behind heading into the fourth quarter of all of those games. Winning games like that has left quarterback Tony Romo, who has played some of the best football of his career over this period, very confident in his team’s chances of coming back late in a game.
“Really, it’s just we’ve gotten to a point where we’re a mentally tough football team. In saying that, I believe when I step on the field in the fourth quarter, if we’re within 10-14 points, we’re going to find a way to win the ballgame,” Romo said, via the Dallas Morning News. “And we’ve been down, I don’t know, five times, six times this year and we’ve consistently come back and put ourselves in position. We’ve had a couple other ones where we could have come back in eight or nine of them, really. That’s just our mentality of what our football team believes late in football games. And that’s helped us.”
Having the mentality that a game is never over until the final whistle is a great one for a team, but letting the opposition run out to a big lead is not a recipe for success over the long haul. The fact that the Cowboys hadn’t won a game this year when they trailed heading into the fourth quarter until beating the Eagles in Week 10 illustrates that fairly well.
It’s certainly better than blowing games in the final moments and it makes for exciting games, but the Cowboys’ best chance of continuing this run into the playoffs is to win games before they’re on the verge of losing them.