Saints vs. Cowboys: Don't Blame Tony Romo for Dallas' Failure vs. New Orleans

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistDecember 23, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 23:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks for an open receiver under pressure from defensive end Will Smith #91 of the New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium on December 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. The New Orleans Saints beat the Dallas Cowboys 34-31 in overtime. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Making Tony Romo the scapegoat for the shortcomings of the Dallas Cowboys has become a favorite pastime for countless fans, pundits and people who just don't like "America's Team."

Even former pro wrestlers love to hate Tony Romo (via Twitter):

The Andrew Luck 100000 time better than the jabroni Tony Romo

— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) December 23, 2012

It's easy to understand why that's the case. He's an easy target as the face of the franchise, and if we are being fair, the blame that falls on him is typically spot on.

But not this time.

Romo did everything he possibly could to keep the Cowboys' control over their playoff future in their hands against the New Orleans Saints in Week 16.

He completed 60 percent of his passes (26-of-43) for 416 yards and four touchdowns.

With the Cowboys trailing by 14 late in the fourth quarter, Romo engineered two scoring drives that he capped off with touchdown passes: A 16-yard strike to Dwayne Harris with 3:35 left to play and a 19-yard bullet to Miles Austin that led to the game-tying extra point with only 15 seconds remaining on the clock.

Like I said, Romo did everything he possibly could to win this game for the Cowboys.

It's not his fault that head coach Jason Garrett, in his infinite wisdom, decided to abandon the passing game in the third quarter after a first half that saw Romo complete 9-of-12 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns.

Nor is it Romo's fault that the Cowboys defense, weakened by injury, was totally incapable of stopping Drew Brees, a failure that puts this game in the record books as we learn courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info's official Twitter account:

(ELIAS) Drew Brees/Tony Romo each threw for 400+ yds, 3 TD; 5th game in NFL history both QB threw for 400, 3 TD

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 23, 2012

So while there's plenty of blame to go around for Dallas' loss to the Saints—and there's plenty—very little, if any at all, should fall on Romo's shoulders.

For Tony Romo didn't fail the Cowboys.

On this day, the Cowboys failed Tony Romo.


Rick Weiner is a member of B/R's Breaking News Team.