Following the Cowboys' comeback victory over the Oakland Raiders on Thanksgiving Day, Jerry Jones called Tony Romo's performance "inspirational," revealing that Romo had played with a stomach virus—as NFL.com reported. It was a nice, supportive thing for an owner to say.
Then, just a few days later, the omnipotent Jones felt it necessary to call out Romo for his lack of performance in December over the last few years.
"I think it's real and I don't mean to be trite," Jones said Tuesday morning on his radio show on KRLD-FM in Dallas, as reported by Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com. "You can probably tie that [Romo's struggles in December] [as to] why we have had disappointments in December."
Through Week 13 Romo ranks eighth in the NFL in passer rating, according to ESPN.com, and he's enjoying arguably his best season as a pro. He doesn't need a backseat driver reminding him of poor performances from the past, he needs to continue to be efficient in the passing game and give his team the chance to win football games.
Romo has made some notable mistakes in critical late-season games in the last two years, and it's hard to deny his career dip in performance in the month of December. A 24-5 record in the month of November juxtaposed with an 11-15 mark in December paints a pretty clear picture.
Romo knows he'll have to play better for the Cowboys to succeed. Tied for first in the NFC East, the Cowboys have a golden opportunity to outlast the Philadelphia Eagles and punch their ticket to the playoffs.
If they can get there, they're capable of beating anyone, should their explosive offense gets rolling.
In the 2006 NBA finals, Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban created the blueprint for how to not act as the owner of a franchise. He yelled at refs, claimed that the NBA was rigged and obnoxiously hovered around his team's bench.
Was he solely responsible for his team's disappointing series loss? Certainly not, but his actions didn't help its cause.
In the 2011 NBA finals Cuban took a relaxed, hands-off approach, and his Mavericks upset the Miami Heat. This time around, Cuban didn't create any headlines or distractions. He simply let his team play freely without heaping any additional pressure on them. He didn't call out his players or the coaching staff, and he didn't try to micromanage his team.
Jones could learn a thing or two from his fellow Dallas franchise owner.
Jones has already locked up Romo with a six-year contract guaranteeing the quarterback $55 million. It's time for the Cowboys' CEO to sit back and reap the dividends from his investment.
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