WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Cowboys up and down roller coaster ride of a season continued in the nation’s capital on Sunday primarily because the offensive line continues its roller coaster ride. Two weeks ago against division rival New York, the offensive line was humiliated as they allowed 4 sacks of QB Drew Bledsoe and he was battered around like a rag doll.

The O-Line followed up that performance with a great stand against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 14. They blocked and schemed better and allowed Bledsoe the time to throw for 22 of 34 for 332 yards and 3 TDs. Everything was fine. The offense was back and ready to roll. Not so fast!

Just one week later, the O-Line played like five matadors doing the proverbial Olé, against the Redskins defense, allowing seven, that’s right, seven sacks of Drew Bledsoe and countless other hits and knock-downs of the QB. Their running game was non-existent, and the running backs can hardly be blamed since they were getting hit in the back field constantly.

However, Coach Bill Parcels was not too worried with the loss. “We just got beat up physically,” Parcells said in a calm, cool and collected manner. “It was just one of those things. The game got away.”

But by letting the game get away, the Cowboys no longer have control of their season. Not only do they need losses from the Redskins, Falcons, and Vikings, they need to win out against a strong 10-4 Carolina team on the road and the final home game the last week of the season against the 5-9 St. Louis Rams.

The Redskins host the NFC East leading Giants and then go on the road against the Eagles. The Vikings are on the road against Baltimore and end the season at home against the surging Chicago Bears. Atlanta has the toughest road ahead as they have to face both Tampa Bay and Carolina on the road.

With only two weeks remaining in the season the NFC playoff picture will not be decided until the final game is played out. The Cowboys will have to focus on protecting their QB, coming out with more power and passion than in their previous two road games and playing with more intensity than the Panthers. A loss in Carolina would certainly end their season.