Dallas Cowboys: Too Many To Name, but Only One Will Get the Blame
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...Romo sucks!
If you're a Cowboy fan, some variation of these sentiments were likely uttered from your lips as the Cowboys laid a palatial egg in front of God and country last Sunday night.
Nothing like a loss in Week Two that'll put a team's entire fan base in a tizzy.
Well, it appears the honeymoon is over between Cowboy fans and Tony Romo.
Romo managed to put together one of the worst, if not the worst, performances of his relatively short career.
Romo's stat line: 13 of 29 for 127 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions
For fans, what was most troubling was not those meager numbers. They've seen worse statistical performances from Romo (the game @ Buffalo in '07 comes to mind) in the past.
Rather, it was the manner in which he coughed up the game.
With 3:35 left in the third quarter, Romo ran a three-yard QB keeper for the go-ahead score (DAL 24 - NYG 20).
The Cowboys forced the Giants to go three-and-out on their next possession, received the ball on the ensuing punt at their own 44-yard line, and momentum was tangibly in their favor.
Unfortunately, Romo decided this was the right time to squelch that momentum.
After collecting a quick first down that put the Cowboys in Giant territory, Romo decided it was time to half-hazard go deep.
I can't confirm, but it appeared Romo audibled out of the original call. You'll hear him yell "kill-kill-kill" on tape.
With Sam Hurd as the only receiver on the field, it's hard for me to believe that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett would call a deep ball to what might be the team's slowest wide receivers.
Keep in mind, on every passing play, there are usually short, medium, and deep receiver routes. Romo apparently wanted the kill shot deep.
In a postgame press conference, Romo said he didn’t see safety Kenny Phillips. That’s not a legitimate alibi, not that he was searching for one. Romo has to identify every defensive player and adjust accordingly.
He didn’t, and he forced the pass inexplicably.
Cowboy fans feel betrayed. They bought his offseason promises to ignore those impulses and take better care of the ball.
My advice to fans is simple: get over it.
Let’s deal with some reality first. Romo has won plenty of big games with the Cowboys. The fact is every game in the NFL is a big game. Every game counts. Every game is crucial. Every game has its own meaning.
Here’s another dose, no one player loses a game. Unfortunately, for the quarterback position, it seems this logic and reason gets tossed like a cheap house-salad.
Lest we forget the dynamic duo of Terrance Newman and Orlando Scandrick put on what may have been the sorriest performances at the cornerback position of recent memory.
DeMarcus Ware and company failed to register a sack for the second consecutive game. Unlike the Bucs game the previous week, they were unable to establish any consistent pressure on Eli at any point.
However, at the end of the day, fans don’t lay blame at the feet of these players’ feet. D. Ware doesn't get called to the carpet. Newman's decision making isn't being questioned by Sterling Sharpe or Warren Sapp.
Instead, right, wrong or indifferent (and it's wrong), the onus is placed on the quarterback.
For many Cowboy fans, this may be the harshest reality; Romo isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Jerry Jones simply doesn’t work that way.
Don’t be an idiot and ask for Jon Kitna.
The apple turnover that Tony Romo was on Sunday night is what Kitna has been his entire career. Kitna may be fine in small stretches, but keep him out there for a too long and he’ll show you exactly who he’s been his entire career.
If you’re even asking about Stephen McGee, you should be slapped on the spot.
Transform Romo into more of a game manager? Perhaps, but realize you’re eventually going to need to throw for a first down; your team will not always have the luxury of a lead to work with; there will be times you need to score points in bunches. In other words, Romo will have to throw.
If Romo is ever going to become the quarterback that most fans believe he can become, he’s going to have to play through this latest self-induced humiliation.
Romo no longer has to be the reason why the team wins; he simply can’t be the reason why they lose.
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