Will Romo cost the Cowboys Sunday's game?
Because Big D has won four out of its past five games, Romo is nearly off the hot seat. Success against the prestigious Pittsburgh defense would silence his critics for good—or until his next choke job.
But he won’t take advantage of the opportunity.
Simply put, Romo records strong stat lines against garbage stop units.
He finished with a passer rating over 90.0 against the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles twice. Out of all those teams, though, Philly is the one that doesn’t field a defense ranked 20th or worse in yards allowed.
The former Eastern Illinois quarterback proved that he’s a talented passer in those games. He just failed—and will continue to fail—to show consistency against top-notch competition.
Romo finished with a 74.6 passer rating against the Cincinnati Bengals, the sixth-best defense in the NFL. He recorded a 60.1 vs. the Chicago Bears, the fifth-best, and a 74.1 vs. the Seattle Seahawks, the third-best. And in those contests, he threw a total of seven interceptions.
Those are the only top-10 defenses he faced all season long, but he’ll meet another on Sunday.
Pittsburgh boasts the No. 1 stop unit in the NFL, surrendering just 262.4 yards per game.
And due to a 31st-ranked Cowboys rushing attack, James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley will be able to pin their ears back and get after Romo. With an offensive line ranked just 20th in sacks allowed protecting him, he’ll wake up sore on Monday morning.
Dallas may have a false confidence going into the game due to the Steelers’ 34-24 loss to the San Diego Chargers last week. But a fluke fumble recovery for a touchdown made the score look worse than it was and Ben Roethlisberger finished hot after shaking off the rust from sitting out three games early.
And in a must-win game, it’s silly to expect Romo, a choke artist, to outgun Big Ben, one of the most clutch QBs in the league.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.