Dallas Cowboys: The 5 Biggest Blunders of Tony Romo's Career
Tony Romo is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. There is no running away from that opinion. Throughout his career, he has a 64.1 percent completion rate, a 95.6 quarterback rating, 120 touchdowns and 63 interceptions.
Because of him, the Cowboys have remained competitive in the NFC and have won the NFC East twice in four seasons.
His major flaw, though, is closing out games. He's had this problem dating back to 2006 when he first debuted in the league, and it showed up again last Sunday against the Jets.
It's not that his numbers are poor in the fourth quarter. In his career, Romo has 34 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, a 100 passer rating and a 63.4 completion percentage in the fourth quarter. In the last two minutes of halves, he has 22 touchdowns, eight interceptions, a 97 passer rating and a 62.4 completion percentage.
It's just there are certain clutch situations in the game where Romo makes a huge mistake to cost his team the game, whether it's an interception or a fumble.
Let's go back in a time capsule and look at five of Tony Romo's biggest career blunders.
Romo's Game-Ending Interception at Pittsburgh (2008)
In a tight 13-13 showdown at Heinz Field, Tony Romo threw an interception to Deshea Townsend and he took it to the house for six to seal the victory for the Steelers.
The Cowboys had a 13-3 lead going into the fourth quarter and gave up 17 points in a huge game with playoff implications. It was early December, and the Cowboys absolutely needed to win to put themselves in good position for the wild card spot.
Romo couldn't come through in the clutch, and the Cowboys ended up losing three of their last four games, thus missing the playoffs.
One Giant Pick (2008)
Back in 2007, Tony Romo had a tremendous regular season as the Cowboys finished 13-3 with a bye week in the NFC. During that bye week, Romo and teammates went to Cabo and faced plenty of criticism from the media.
The only way to silence the critics would be to play a stellar postseason game against the New York Giants and advance to the NFC Championship. However, Romo didn't even come close. After struggling for most of the afternoon, he had one more chance to give the Cowboys the victory.
The Cowboys had 1st-and-10 on the Giants 22-yard line with 31 seconds left. After an offensive penalty, a short completion and two incompletions, the Cowboys season was down to one play. Romo threw an interception to R.W. McQuarters to end the seasons. The Giants went on to win the Super Bowl.
Romo Fumbles and Throws Game Away to the Jets (2011)
On the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, the Cowboys and Jets played a highly emotional game with even more touching pregame ceremony.
Tony Romo was able to focus on the game, and he absolutely shredded the Jets' secondary. He threw for 342 yards, two touchdowns and had a passer rating of 101.9. These are stark numbers against a great defense.
The Cowboys had a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, and they had never blown a lead with such a margin in their franchise history. However, after a blocked punt was returned for a touchdown, Romo made two key mistakes that made the world crash for Cowboy fans.
First, on the 1-yard line in an attempt to give the Cowboys a two-possession lead again in the middle of the fourth, Romo fumbled the ball, and the Jets recovered and tied the game.
Then, in a tie game late in the fourth quarter, Romo needed to get into field goal range to give the Cowboys the lead and possibly the win. Instead, he threw an interception to Darrelle Revis, and the Jets easily got into field goal range. Former Cowboy Nick Folk drilled the game-winning field goal, and the Cowboys returned home with their heads hung down.
Not Even Close (2008)
It was Week 17, and the winner of this game between these two bitter rivals was going to the playoffs. It was Tony Romo's chance to redeem himself after two consecutive years of big-game futility against the Eagles.
Unfortunately for him, it wasn't even close. The Cowboys lost 44-6, and Romo never really established the offense.
The biggest blunder of the game came with the Cowboys down 27-3. He fumbled the ball, and Chris Clemons ran it back for a 73-yard touchdown making the score from lopsided to embarrassing.
The Botched Snap
It seems like all of Romo's late-game inconsistencies stem from this one moment. Romo has tried to erase this gaffe from the memories of football fans for years now, and he probably won't be able to until he wins a ring.
Down by one in the wild card game against the Seattle Seahawks, Tony Romo and the Cowboys lined up for a field goal to take the lead. The snap was botched by Romo, and he tried to run it in. It looked like he was going to be able to punch it in the end zone, but he was stopped one-yard short by Jordan Babineaux.
What's ironic is that Romo's faux pas wasn't even his fault. Why is the starting quarterback holding the ball on a kick? It's understandable that Romo had been the holder all season long, but he should've been relieved of those duties once he became the starting quarterback.
It's inexcusable to fumble the ball, but this could very well have been blamed on former Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells.