Lions vs Cowboys: Did Tony Romo Lose Hero Label He Had Gained in Recent Weeks?

Adam OdekirkContributor IIOctober 2, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 02:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys during play against the Detroit Lions at Cowboys Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Tony Romo went out and had the type of first half that should be expected from a marquee quarterback in the NFL. He took advantage of an inexperienced Lions secondary and gave his young star, Dez Bryant, an opportunity to make big plays.

However, when the second half started something happened. Maybe his "shots" wore off, or maybe he simply took too many and it affected his decision making. Whatever the cause was, Romo reverted back to his Week 1 form and helped the Cowboys snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

This stunning collapse is made more disappointing by the fact that Romo had earned huge amounts of respect back from the Cowboys locker room and fan base. He had authored two gutsy performances to lead the Cowboys to sorely needed victories against the 49ers and the Redskins.

Even critics of Tony Romo were tipping their hats to the effort he put in, herding young receivers and making plays when they needed them against Washington.

Now, Romo will face the endless questions of whether he can handle the pressure of clutch situations in the NFL. When the pressure began to mount, Lions QB Matthew Stafford rose to the occasion while Tony Romo seemed to become more erratic.

To be fair the fact that both interceptions were returned for touchdowns cannot solely be blamed on Romo, but the third interception was nothing short of a mistake that a rookie would be embarrassed by. 

Romo's injury might have been a blessing in disguise because it gave him the kind of "heroic" circumstance to overcome if he remained successful. Yet, just when it seemed that his injury was getting better and the confidence of the Cowboys was unstoppable, he self-imploded right before everyone's eyes.

Tony Romo has a lot of work to do if he wants to rewrite his story. Leading the Cowboys to the playoffs this season would be a nice start, but the only way that he can truly achieve "hero" status is to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.