The Dallas Cowboys stuck it to the Panthers in the regular season* again.
With last night's win in New Orleans, the Cowboys officially eliminated the Panthers, Falcons and Seahawks from playoff contention. Granted, those three teams did themselves in long before Dallas had a chance. But now it's official, and we can proceed with what's left of the last three weeks.
(* For the record, the Panthers are 1-7 against Dallas in the regular season, 2-0 in the playoffs)
The whole grasping at straws scenario had the Panthers, Cowboys and others getting into three- and four-way ties, from which the Panthers could have emerged since their conference record was OK (that whole 0-4 vs. the AFC East thing left the NFC record acceptable).
-- Don't be surprised if QB Jake Delhomme goes on IR soon. Really, the only reason they were hanging on is to keep him handy if they made an improbable playoff push. Now that that's out of the way, let the Hunter Cantwell era begin.
There was nothing to be gained from putting Delhomme back on the field this season anyway. The priorities this offseason should be two-fold: 1) find what's wrong with Delhomme and fix it, because he's never played this way in his career, and 2) find somebody to come to camp to compete with him next summer.
The contract dictates he'll be back, and the fact this year was a statistical outlier should buy him the chance to fight for a job. If he gets back to playing the way he did 2003-08, fine. If not, the new guy will have to step in.
-- The Saints loss should also prevent those poor souls from NBC from bringing their Sunday Night spectacle here for the finale. Had New Orleans been 15-0, the Panthers would have again been accidental bystanders to prime time, as they are tonight against the Minnesota Favres.