After back-to-back victories against the Eagles, the Cowboys saw their season come to an abrupt end Sunday afternoon against the Minnesota Vikings.
Dallas couldn't protect Tony Romo, and its defense got burned by big plays in the 34-3 loss.
So it will be the top two seeds - Minnesota and New Orleans - battling it out next week for a chance to go to Miami.
Here are some observations from the game:
* The Vikings did what the Eagles could not do: rattle and confuse Romo. Minnesota finished with six sacks and made Romo uncomfortable all game long. Let's not discount the loss of left tackle Flozell Adams, who left the game with an injury in the second quarter. Adams did a great job against Trent Cole in Week 17 and the first round of the playoffs, and he was holding his own early on against Jared Allen.
* Other than the 76-yard touchdown from Michael Vick to Jeremy Maclin, the Eagles' big-play offense had little success creating big plays against the Cowboys. Not so early on for the Vikings. Favre hit Sidney Rice for a beautiful 47-yard touchdown in the first quarter. The coverage was good, but the defensive back (Gerald Sensabaugh?) did not get his head turned around to make a play on the ball, which was thrown perfectly.
* The final score shows that the Cowboys allowed 34 points, but their defense held up for three quarters. Other than the big play to Rice, Dallas allowed one touchdown drive in the second, but that was it. The field goal was a direct result of a Romo fumble.
* Speaking of Romo, three turnovers on the day - two lost fumbles and an interception. He turned it over just once the previous two weeks against the Eagles.
* What a game by Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards. Check out these numbers: five tackles, four tackles for loss, three sacks and six QB hits. Edwards was originally scheduled to be a free agent, but if there's an uncapped year, he's one of those guys with just four years of service time, so he'd be restricted.
* I did not like the move by Wade Phillips to attempt the 48-yard field goal in the first quarter with Shaun Suisham. But would you believe that Suisham was previously 7-for-7 on kicks between 40 and 49 yards this season? He missed, the Vikings took over at their own 39, and it was 7-0 minutes later.
* Four touchdowns and no interceptions for Brett Favre. At home this season, he had 21 touchdowns and two INTs. Great pump fake to avoid Marcus Spears on the second touchdown throw.