Vikings vs. Cowboys: Why Tony Romo Is Not To Blame for Dallas's Loss

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 17:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during the second quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

The past five years have been a highlight reel of Tony Romo's mistakes.  People have called him a choker, analysts have criticised his throwing ability, and writers have made joke after joke on his behalf.  This time though, Tony Romo has done nothing wrong.

Some fans may disagree here, but when it comes down to heart, Tony Romo put his on his sleeve Sunday night against the Minnesota Vikings

After tasting the turf on more than one occasion, watching his passes get dropped time and time again, and handing the ball off to see the play stall two yard in front of him, for once Tony Romo didn't leave for the sidelines with the patented "Aww Shucks..." look that he has made famous throughout his career.

No, this time he accepted it.  And it's about time to.  With Brett Favre playing an outstanding game and basically having his way with the football and the Cowboys defensive backs, Tony Romo was often shown on the sidelines simply watching his team fall to pieces.

Twenty-two passes completed out of an attempted 35 for 198 yards, Romo had a reasonably decent game if you left out the block of stats that reads "sacks."  The total number ended up being six, and by the time the game was over, Tony Romo's jersey needed a good clean wash.

With all this happening in the span of an hour, the Cowboys had given up by the fourth quarter, but Tony Romo hadn't. 

Rewind to a season ago, and you'd have found that he would have.  With numerous postseason exits in the Wild card Round of the playoffs, the past was not kind to Tony. His confidence was low and his skills seemed to be covered up by the one statistic that showed he hadn't led the Cowboys to a playoff win in his time with Dallas.

Surely present in his mind Sunday night against the Vikings, Tony Romo knew all of this.  God knows that Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon had discussed it more than once on PTI for the message to get through. 

With the world watching, the media's minds working for catchy headlines and Jerry Jones crossing his fingers for a win to go through and play the New Orleans Saints in a week time, Tony Romo failed to deliver.  This time though, it was more of a team letdown than just a quarterback let down.

One thing that Tony did well was to show that he wouldn't give up.  With two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys were still calling timeouts in a faint but wishful hope that Romo could at least make the scoreline look presentable. 

With Favre throwing for a questionable unsportsmanlike touchdown, the Cowboys were had been taken to the woodshed. 

The Cowboys were shot, Wade Phillips was laughed at, and Cowboys fans went home saying "Damn, another long offseason."  For the first time in what seems like forever, Tony Romo wasn't scrutinized though.  The words "choke" weren't used, and the infamous picture of him bobbling the snap three years ago never made an appearance on a forum. 

This time it seemed like fans had realised that Tony tried his best.  With no Terrell Owens and no Jessica Simpson, Romo had his head in the game this season.  Something that his been missing in previous years.  Thank Wade Phillips for that, and thank Tony as well.  The Cowboys got there first playoff win, and it is a confidence builder for years to come.  Especially for Tony Romo.