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Shutdown Corner

Kyle Orton, not Tony Romo, throws a devastating interception to crush the Cowboys and give the Eagles the NFC East

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

Another quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Same old story.

The Cowboys are used to this type of heartache. For the third straight year, they lost a Week 17 with the NFC East title on the line. The first two times, quarterback Tony Romo took his share of the blame. He was out this week after having back surgery.

But Kyle Orton, making his first NFL start since 2011, stepped right in and crushed the Cowboys' fans dreams.

The Cowboys trailed 24-22 late in the fourth quarter with the ball, a chance to win the game and go to the playoffs. But with 1:43 left, Orton threw a pass to Miles Austin that Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin picked off. After one more first down, the Eagles ran out the clock. They're going to the playoffs, to host New Orleans next weekend.

The Cowboys, after yet another 8-8 season, are stuck with some familiar feelings.

Dallas got a huge play in the fourth quarter when Dez Bryant turned a fourth and 9 into a thrilling 32-yard touchdown. But the 2-point conversion wasn't successful. The Cowboys got the ball back with a shot at a field goal and the win, but Orton's interception sealed the Eagles' win.

For the Eagles, it's a tremendous accomplishment. New coach Chip Kelly and his team started this season slow, then won seven of their last eight once the offense, powered by quarterback Nick Foles and running back LeSean McCoy, started clicking. They feel good about winning in Week 17, taking the NFC East title and going home to host a playoff game.

Maybe one of these years, the Cowboys will experience that feeling again.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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