The Double Agent: Why Tony Romo Is the Key to a Giants Playoff Run

Kyle McMorrowCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2009

IRVING, TX - JANUARY 13:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts during the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New York Giants at Texas Stadium on January 13, 2008 in Irving, Texas.  The Giants defeated the Cowboys 21-17.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

When the season began, Giants fans' only concern was if New York would get the No. 1 seed throughout the playoffs.

As the season progressed, expectations lowered to just winning the NFC East; now Big Blue fans are wondering if the Giants will even make the playoffs at all this year.

Some have given up, while others remain optimistic, but the truth is the season is still within New York's control, and if the Giants are going to make the playoffs, it starts with the Dallas Cowboys.

With only five games left on the year, the Giants will need to win every game or hope that a team ahead of them stumbles to make the postseason; enter Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys.

While the term "choke artist" may not yet apply to the Cowboys, it certainly does to their leader Tony Romo.

Since 2006, Romo has yet to have a quarterback rating of over 80 percent in the month of December and has thrown 19 interceptions. In addition to his poor numbers, Romo has proven to fail in the late weeks of the season—most notably the fumbled hold on a chip shot field goal that lead to the Cowboys' demise in the 2006 NFC wild card game against the Seattle Seahawks

In 2008 Romo once again came up empty in a must win game against the Philadelphia Eagles. With one of his poorest outings of the season, Romo threw for only 183 yards and accounted for three of the five Dallas turnovers.

When asked after the game how he deals with a tough loss, Romo simply replied, "I wake up tomorrow and I keep living," perhaps signaling a careless attitude.

Eerily enough, Dallas also started hot last year at 8-4 before finishing 1-3 in the month of December to miss the playoffs.

In addition to his decline in production, Romo has also been sacked more times in December than any other month since 2006, including an astounding 12 sacks last year, a higher total than all other months combined for his 2008 season. That's another indication he is just not comfortable in the month the NFL season now enters.

Romo is now 5-8 in December starts, and with New York, San Diego, and New Orleans on tap, Dallas is going to have a hard time maintaining its division lead with a quarterback who has cracked under less stressful times. Without the Terrell Owens safety blame to fall back on, Romo will have to face the music this time around if he is unsuccessful in leading the Cowboys to the promised land.

If his struggles aren't enough cause for concern, Romo is also suffering from a sore back, and if the Giants can get some pressure, things can get scary in a hurry for Dallas fans.

It's no secret the Giants will need all the help they can get if they want to have any chance of making the playoffs this year. With Romo's track record, Giants fans have to like their chances of New York taking a wild card spot away from the Cowboys, or possibly stealing the division.