It's been quite a 24-hour stretch for the Dallas Cowboys.

At around 6:30 p.m. Eastern time yesterday, Dallas seemed poised to improve to 9-4 with a win over the Steelers at Heinz Field.

Tony Romo

found

Terrell Owens

for a 12-yard touchdown in the third quarter, giving the Cowboys a 10-3 lead. And suddenly, it seemed like maybe the Giants weren't a lock to win the NFC East.

But the Cowboys' fortunes changed quickly. A disastrous fourth quarter, which included a Romo interception that was returned for the game-winning touchdown, did the Cowboys in.

Now, a day later, Cowboys owner

Jerry Jones

is reportedly questioning the toughness of running back

Marion Barber

. Barber did not make the trip to Pittsburgh because of an injured right pinkie toe. Apparently Jones thinks Barber could have played.

"He can play with that injured toe," Jones told the

» READ MORE: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

.. "He can play with the soreness and a combination of those things. I see nothing that led us to believe he couldn’t."

Wow.

Tashard Choice

filled in for Barber, carrying 23 times for 88 yards, and he also caught five balls for 78 yards.

Jones signed Barber to a seven-year, $45 million deal in the offseason. He has 870 yards on the year and is averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Barber has also caught 47 balls for 366 yards. He's 25-years-old.

The Redskins, meanwhile,

Chris Samuels

for the remainder of the season.

Jim Zorn

said today Samuels will have season-ending surgery for a torn triceps he suffered in last night's loss to the Ravens.

And finally...

Monday night pick: PANTHERS (-3) vs. Bucs