Tony Romo can once again start making tee times.
Three interceptions—including the proverbial dagger late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s winner-take-all contest against the Washington Redskins—sunk the Dallas Cowboys’ playoff aspirations. Once again, Mr. Starter came up very small on the biggest stage.
For the loss, Romo not only needs to shoulder the blame, but also needs to be shown the door in Dallas.
Romo’s implosions are becoming a yearly tradition in Dallas. Sunday’s pedestrian performance (20-of-37, 218 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions) was just the latest act in the Groundhog Day (that’s a comedy starring Bill Murray, for those of you who didn’t know) that is becoming the former undrafted free agent’s career. Of course Romo was going to take his team to the brink of glory. Of course he was going to push his side over the cliff before achieving success.
That’s why Romo needs to go. No, Alfred Morris’ 200 rushing yards and three touchdowns cannot be pinned on Romo. Neither can Robert Griffin III’s gritty performance. But after two early interceptions, how could anyone on the Dallas sideline not be thinking "here we go again"? Why would they not tense up knowing that they probably will have to play a perfect game from here on out to make up for the mistakes and shortcomings of their so-called leader? What would lead them to believe that this year is any different than any year prior?
Most importantly, why would any Cowboy believe Romo could win the game?
Romo apologists like to point out how many fourth-quarter comebacks he has this season, or that the Cowboys would be nowhere without him. The problem is: How many of those comebacks were necessitated by Romo mistakes?
More importantly, anytime a fanbase has to constantly defend their franchise’s marquee player with hypothetical or theoretical arguments, there’s a problem. Romo always does a lot but falls short. Great quarterbacks do enough and win. Sunday’s loss was on him.
Romo is now the whipping boy of the NFC East. Every divisional opponent has beaten him in a critical contest. Why would New York, Philadelphia or Washington fear him?
For these inexcusable and accumulating sins, Romo needs to go. It’s just not going to happen in Dallas. The optimism recent memory has vanished. Romo isn’t meant to be the Cowboys’ quarterback; that doesn’t mean he won’t thrive somewhere—and there will be a somewhere—else.
Romo is a great smile backed with a great story. He's just not great for the Cowboys.