Cowboys' season ends in playoff heart-breaker
ARLINGTON, Texas - An incredible run through the regular season, with two rookie phenoms leading the way, was ended with a 51-yard field goal by Mason Crosby of the Green Bay Packers to cut the remarkable 13-win Dallas Cowboys season short at AT&T Stadium in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.
"That stuff, that hurt, man, that hurt," Cowboys defensive back Barry Church said. "This is the best team I've been around and been on, and for it to end like that, it's heartbreaking."
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott led the entire league in rushing during his first professional season and was known for his upbeat attitude, but that was understandably not seen after the heartbreaking loss.
"This locker room was truly special," said Elliott. "We were really a family and we cared about each other and you saw that today when in how we played down the stretch."
Dallas fought back from a 21-3 hole in the second quarter, its largest deficit of the season, to tie the game at 31 with Dan Bailey's 52-yard field goal with 35 seconds remaining.
But, that was just enough time for Aaron Rodgers to maneuver down the field with a 35-yard completion to Jared Cook on 3rd down and 20 to put Crosby in range for the winning kick on the game's final play.
"Just the way we climbed back in it and scratched and clawed -- that's the team that you always remember playing for and team that you'd want to play for," receiver Cole Beasley said.
"Destiny waits on no man. It doesn't, especially in this game -- it's not going to wait," said 13-year veteran tight end Jason Witten, who caught his first postseason touchdown in the loss.
"The unity of this team and the way it's handled every situation along the way -- from the first day of training camp to Seattle when Tony [Romo] went down, to even the win streak. It's just been a really close group and I'll always remember this 2016 football team."
Witten said he will take some time before deciding if he'll return for a 14th NFL season.
Green Bay advanced to play the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship.
The Cowboys have still not reached the NFC title match since the 1995-1996 season.