I may not understand the whole concept but do know that given the correct mass, speed and altitude of an object you can have it swing all the way around a planet and leave orbit again, ala Apollo 13 or any number of other examples.
Actually you are right in theory - has anybody mentioned aerobraking yet? (The technique Apollo used very accurately to save a vast amount of fuel.) The smaller meteor could have barely skimmed the atmosphere hours or days before, in some uninhabited location, going straight through but at a lower speed. With enough speed lost, it could have been recaptured before re-entering.
That probably didn't happen though, as (a) it's fantastically unlikely (
the deceleration in the first pass would probably have shattered it, in the way that was seen on the day and © if the speed observed over Russia is over a certain value it was never in a captured orbit anyway. (I don't think any of it happened, I'm just mentioning this to see if I can start an internet myth!)
That said, it is not hard to imagine that you can also have it approach from one hemisphere and fail to have enough escape velocity or mass and impact on the opposite hemisphere from its origin.
There's another idea - we (well NASA) frequently use close passes to boost the speed of a probe - the "slingshot". I wonder what geometry would be needed to cause the reverse and reduce speed, and IF it's practical. (Planets have captured moons on occasion.) Though it might not work on something on DA14's path as it's far out of plane...?