September 13, 2010
For the briefest of instants, it looked like the Dallas Cowboys were going to escape FedEx Field with a stunning, come-from-behind victory over the Washington Redskins. Down by six points with three seconds remaining on the clock, Tony Romo(notes) took the snap from inside the Redskins red zone, evaded defenders and found receiver Roy Williams in the end zone for what would have been the game-winning touchdown. The Cowboys celebrated. The Redskins stood motionless. And all the while there was a little yellow flag laying on the field.
The holding call was on Alex Barron(notes), who is always near the top of the league in penalty calls and had a whopping three holding calls whistled against him in the final 31 minutes of Sunday night's game. He basically tackled Brian Orakpo(notes) and the flag was well deserved. There's no controversy here, just stupidity.
Barron was playing for an injured Marc Colombo(notes) and struggled all game against Washington's new 3-4 defense. His hold may have freed Romo a little, but it wasn't like the play hinged on it. Barron didn't need to hold! Romo could easily have found Williams without the illegal aid of Barron and the Cowboys would be 1-0 right now.
The Florida State product wasn't the only person shooting his team in the foot on Sunday night. The Cowboys threw a dump pass at the end of the first half that was fumbled and returned for a Washington touchdown as time expired; the Redskins took points off the board following a Dallas special-teams penalty but then failed to score when there was a botched snap on the next field-goal attempt.
You want less preseason games? These teams clearly weren't ready after the four they got this year.
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips says of Barron's penalty that he'd "never seen that happen." He probably won't have to see Barron called for a penalty in a Cowboys uniform ever again. There's a good chance Barron could be cut before the team takes to the field in Week 2.
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