Chargers head coach Norv Turner served up another painful reminder Sunday that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made the wrong decision when he chose Wade Phillips over him three years ago. The Chargers remained perfect in December during the Turner era with a 20-17 win over the Cowboys.
With their second consecutive loss in December, the Cowboys fell to 8-5 on the season and they'll have to rally to even make the playoffs. The cushion they created in October and November has vanished. And at the end of the night, they'll either be in a three-way tie for the NFC East lead or trail the Eagles (8-4) by a game.
Either way, the Cowboys are in big trouble as they prepare for a game in New Orleans on Saturday. Tony Romo and Philip Rivers put up similar numbers, but Rivers made big-time throws when it counted. With the game tied at 10, the Cowboys lost outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware to a neck injury. After the All-Pro player was carted off the field, the Chargers faced a third-and-long situation with 90,000 fans roaring. He responded with a perfect pass to Vincent Jackson for 38 yards and then hit tight end Antonio Gates for a touchdown on the next play.
The Cowboys spent most of the first half in Chargers territory but only had three points to show for it. They were stoned on three consecutive plays from the goal line in the second quarter and then Nick Folk missed a 42-yard field goal out of the hold of Romo. The Cowboys found some success on the ground with Marion Barber and Felix Jones, but drives continued to stall.
At this point, it's hard to imagine owner Jerry Jones bringing back Phillips for a fourth season. Jones reacted angrily in his luxury suite late in the game. The Cowboys still have time to rally for a playoff spot but that would require them to win at least two of their next three games.
Since two of those games are in December, I don't see it happening. The only good news to come out of this game is that Ware only has a sprained neck and he's moving his arms and legs.