DEN-DAL: Denver Dumps Dallas, 17-10 Romo Still Snakebit

RD LockhartContributor IOctober 4, 2009

DENVER - OCTOBER 04:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys rolls out to pass against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 4, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos played with the stamina of a champion against a stout Dallas defense rallying to score 17 unanswered points, and the only points of the second half with the final 10 coming in the fourth quarter at home to win the game 17-10 and remain unbeaten. 

The game was a defensive slugfest for most of the afternoon and was finally broken open by the Broncos when Kyle Orton connected on a 51-yard touchdown strike to brazen and brash wide-receiver Brandon Marshall giving Denver their only lead of the game with 1:46 on the clock.

The Dallas Cowboys (2-2) arrived at Invesco Field to face the  Broncos (4-0) with many unanswered questions about the mindset of their quarterback. They will leave with many of the same questions.

Staring a chance to overcome another forgettable Sunday afternoon Romo (25-42 255 yds, INT, 0 TDs) watched his chance at redemption fall harmlessly through the outstretched arms of Sam Hurd in the back of the endzone on a desperation fourth and goal play from the Denver 2-yard line with :01 remaining.

Like a turkey-leg that has gone bad from the State Fair of Texas Tony Romo’s play under center has been sour and gut-wrenching to digest.

In the first four games of the season Romo has gone from being a defensive nightmare in a Week 1 win over the hapless Bucs, to offensive liability in Week 2 loss against the Giants, to careful caretaker in Week 3 against win over the Panthers, to shell-shocked, indecisive and unreliable in the Week 4 loss against the Broncos.  

The Cowboys offensive line wasn’t any better today. They were not only slow, but looked winded and out of sync giving up five sacks against a relentless blitzing pressure rush from the Broncos. 

The Broncos also stymied the NFL’s top ranked rushing attack holding Dallas to only 74 yards.  Marion Barber (41 yds, 1 TD) was strong in the first quarter in limited duty in his return from injury but was noticeably missing from the fourth quarter attack down the stretch.   Tashard Choice could only muster 33 yards on 14 carries.


Wade Phillips' defense much improved recording three sacks and a forced fumble.  The squad was clicking on all cyclinders after half-time holding Denver scoreless and recording a sensational stop on downs to end the third quarter. 

But when the game was on the line the secondary failed to get the job done in the fourth quarter on Denver’s final scoring drive, giving up the longest pass play of the game.

Expect the Jekyll and Hyde routine to continue for at least another week for the Cowboys and Tony Romo.  Up next is a confidence builder on the road in Kansas City against the winless Chiefs (0-4) before a much needed early season bye-week in Week 6.

Jerry Jones didn't pump a billion bucks in to Arlington to put up with this kind of poor position play from his quarterback.  But, will the Cowboys bench Romo for Kitna?  A loss heading into the bye-week will not only turn up the heat in the kitchen but set the roof on fire!!!