By Shawn S. Lealos

The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Carolina Panthers in their last game, a contest they really needed to win to remain in playoff contention. However, they also lost their starting quarterback Tony Romo, and that pretty much hammered the final nail in the team’s coffin. Dallas still has a chance to play spoiler this season, with their next game against their hated divisional rival Washington Redskins. Here is a look at this week’s biggest news stories heading into the big rivalry game.

Tony Romo Finally Knocked Out For Season

Tony Romo was injured against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second game of the season with a broken collarbone. He returned and beat the Miami Dolphins, but then in his second game back on Thanksgiving against the Carolina Panthers, he re-injured his collarbone and his season is effectively over with. This almost eliminates any chance Dallas might have had to consider the postseason. It also brings up questions of the Cowboys future at quarterback.

No backup quarterback in Dallas won a game this season. The Cowboys need a good backup quarterback that can take over for Romo in the future. Jerry Jones said that it doesn’t mean spending a first round pick on one. “Half of the first-round picks that are made don’t work,” Jones said. “That’s not negative, they just don’t work. So we’ve got to keep that in mind.”

Cowboys Won’t Tank Season For High Draft Pick

The Dallas Cowboys chances of making the playoffs are almost gone. If the team had beaten the Panthers on Thanksgiving, they would have been one game out of first place in a weak NFC East. However, they lost the game and they also lost Romo for the season. Dallas needs to win out, which is going to be very difficult considering the Green Bay Packers are still on the schedule. However, while the temptation is there to just lose out and get the first overall pick in the NFL Draft next year, at least one team leader says that won’t happen.

Tight end Jason Witten said that there is “too much fight, too much character on this team to be able to approach it that way. Every opportunity to go out there on Sunday and Monday is an opportunity to play and show what you’re about. You would never do that.”

Kellen Moore To Possibly Get His Chance

When the season started in Dallas, Tony Romo was the starting quarterback, Brandon Weeden was the backup and Kellen Moore was the third stringer. When Romo went down in the second game, Dallas brought in Matt Cassel and kept Moore on the practice squad. When Romo returned, the Cowboys waived Weeden and kept Moore on the practice squad. Now that Romo’s season has ended, Moore finally moved up to the second string. In college, Moore holds the NCAA all-time record for wins by a starting quarterback with Boise State, with a 50-3 record. He played at Detroit as a backup and knows Scott Linehan’s system.

“Kellen is just a really good football player and has been, really throughout his whole life,” Garrett said when he signed Moore. “He’s obviously not the biggest, the strongest, the fastest, the greatest arm – all of those things that some people get enamored with, but he’s a good football player at a really important position.” If the Cowboys falter and end up eliminated from playoff contention, there is a chance that Moore will finally get his chance to show what he is made of.

Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He writes for a variety of national publications and has over 15 years of sports journalism experience. Follow Shawn on Twitter @sslealos. Examiner.com.