The best teams have moved on and while that doesn't make us feel better about this loss, the Niners were the better team playing in what was one of the best homefield hostile environments the Cowboys have enjoyed in some time.
They outplayed the Cowboys, just as every other team booted from the playoffs suffered, they got beat because the other team played better and is a better team. A smarter team.
The Raiders and the Cowboys saw their mistakes follow them into the playoffs and give an advantage to the Bengals and Niners. Neither is good enough to overcome self-inflicted wounds and make up the yardage that penalties cost them.
And with the Cowboys, it was the same perps in the playoffs as the regular season making the same mistakes.
As I listened to Romo do his best game I've heard, he could no longer hide the pain of watching a team just keep shooting themselves. Mistakes, and several of them just stupid and lazy, proved to be the destroyer of homefield advantage.
I see the anger toward the refs for the end of that game and that is misplaced. Every QB that plays the game knows the protocol for getting the ball into play. Especially in crunch time.
Here is what I take away from this game. My pleasure at them playing to get right in Philly was gone when I saw how they started this game. And if the Niners defense hadn't lost two crucial players, I do not think the score is that close.
When you watched that game, and be honest with yourself here and put the fan aside, did you not feel their QB, RB, WR's and OL wanted this game more than the Cowboys? Did you not feel they were better coached and prepared for the playoffs?
And one more observation that has bothered me this entire season and it fits right into some of the feelings here. Did you get the feeling that McCarthy's ire was misplaced toward the officials and not the perps? The OL that led the league in penalties, Williams, does so again in the playoffs yet McCarthy seemed more upset at the officials. This is like enabling behavior from children. Williams got a timeout for this earlier in the season and learned nothing.
As I watched Gregory smiling after getting caught twice in ridiculous offsides, one lining up offsides, I wondered how Tom Landry or Jimmy Johnson or Bill Parcells would have handled that?