ARLINGTON, Texas – The play didn’t exactly develop the way Jason Garrett drew it up, but the result was the longest third-down conversion of Tony Romo’s career.
A schoolyard play kept alive the Cowboys’ game-winning drive and sparked quite a rant from trash-talking Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall.
The Redskins sent an all-out blitz on third-and-21 from the Dallas 30 with 2:20 remaining in the game. Romo responded by rolling to his right and pointing downfield after making eye contact with Dez Bryant.
Bryant got the message, sprinting behind Hall to allow Romo to float a pass over the top for the first down. It was Romo at his improvisational best, giving Bryant a chance to use his size and athletic ability to make one of the game’s biggest plays.
“They sent everybody,” Romo said. “I tried to give ground. It was a good job by Dez continuing to play on. I could see the angle he was taking. I could see where the corner was. I gave him a little air and let him go run under it. Dez did a great job of getting the ball.”
Added Bryant: “I didn’t know where DeAngelo Hall was, but I felt like he was on my back. But it didn’t matter because I was going to try to block him out and make the play anyway.”
The damage wasn’t done once Bryant caught the ball. He ran several yards after the catch on the 30-yard gain. Plus, the Cowboys picked up 15 more when Hall was flagged for grabbing Bryant’s facemask while trying to make the tackle.
That didn’t sit well with Hall, who made headlines during the week by threatening to target Romo’s fractured rib.
“That was a [bleeping] terrible call,” Hall told reporters. “I told the ref he’s going to [bleeping] lose his job. I told the ref, ‘That might have been the worst call of the game.’ He’s going to get some demerit points for that call because that wasn’t no facemask.”
Actually, Hall clearly grabbed Bryant’s facemask, turning the receiver’s head. But it’s easier to blame somebody else than take accountability for a play that covered 45 yards on the 64-yard game-winning drive.
And Hall wasn’t done profanely pointing the finger. He also ripped Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett for blitzing in that situation, saying he shouldn’t have had to cover Bryant for that long.
“Sooner or later, somebody is going [bleeping] figure it out,” Hall responded when a reporter noted that the Redskins blitzed successfully earlier in the game. “You don’t have to be a [bleeping] rocket scientist to figure it out after awhile.”
It didn’t take an X’s and O’s genius to design the play, but it worked.