ARLINGTON, Texas — It was all setting up so perfectly for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Philadelphia Eagles had already lost, meaning all the Cowboys needed to do was find a way to beat the Green Bay Packers, a team playing without Aaron Rodgers, to regain control of the NFC East.
And with a 26-3 halftime lead, Dallas appeared set to cruise into next week with a chance to clinch the NFC East.
How quickly it all disappeared.
BOX SCORE: Packers 37, Cowboys 36
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw two fourth-quarter interceptions as he joined the defense in an epic second-half meltdown as the Packers rallied for a 37-36 win Sunday.
Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn threw two touchdowns in the third quarter and two more in the fourth quarter, and rookie running back Eddie Lacy soared over a scrum of Cowboys players for a 1-yard touchdown with 91 seconds remaining to give the Packers their only lead of the game.
Romo’s first interception, by Sam Shields, set up Lacy’s go-ahead score. But it was Romo’s second interception, by Tramon Williams, that sealed Green Bay’s win. That interception was initially ruled by Walt Coleman’s crew as an incomplete pass, but after a lengthy review, during which Cowboys fans began filing out of the stadium, the call was overturned.
Thousands of Packers fans remained in AT&T Stadium chanting “Go Pack Go” as Flynn was able to run out the clock. It was the Packers’ second consecutive win under Flynn, and at 7-6-1, the Packers remain alive for a wild card playoff spot.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, lost a perfect chance to regain ground on the Philadelphia Eagles, who lost to Minnesota earlier on Sunday. Dallas remains one game behind the Eagles. The two teams will play Week 17 at AT&T Stadium in a game that could be winner-take-all for the division title.
The five stalled drives that ended in field goals will haunt the Cowboys, who racked up 332 yards, yet only scored 26 points, in the first half.
Whatever improvement the Dallas defense appeared to make early while holding Green Bay to just a field goal in the first two quarters was revealed to be a mirage in the second half.
As Dallas heads to its next game at Washington, it will face more questions about its league-worst passing defense, the health of its linebacker corps (after losing two more players to injuries on Sunday) and about Romo’s ability to win crucial games.