Time to shackle Tony Romo

I'll get two things out of the way first:

First, there was an absolute clusterf*** of mistakes against the Eagles by a number of parties.  But the tone of the game on the field has to be set by the QB, and Romo just doesn't have that personality.  Giggling while the game is falling apart and then sitting on the bench with his head in his hands is just not going to do it.  Turnover after turnover, mistake after mistake, leading momentous changes in the flow of the game also will not do.

Second, it's not all his fault.  Really.  Our vaunted O Line is a sham, an absolute disgrace -- no doubt about it.  But they're not at fault for every single moronic play that Romo makes.  Sure, he has some inconsistent receivers and some shoddy coaching, but again, sometimes it's difficult to tell what the hell our savior is doing out there.

I'm convinced he can't help being the goofball who makes you avert your eyes, just like Wade can't help being Mr. Aw Shucks.  This image is further reinforced by his post-game quotes that basically tell me that Romo is more interested in going home and banging hot celebrities or being an all-around nice guy.  Hey, this is fine, except he's getting paid to quarterback the Dallas Cowboys, and that's kind of a big deal to me.

All right, so what do we do?  There's no better option than Romo, and Romo seems incorrigible.  Quite a dilemma, but a solution is in sight.

In a nutshell, this team needs to adopt the playcalling of the Tennessee Titans, and Tony Romo needs to be treated like Kyle Orton. 

Romo can't help trying to make the highlight play, and he's not going to help it.  So, the offense needs to take the option away from him.  The gunslinger mentality needs to be discouraged -- honestly, it's not working -- and Romo needs to be forced into busdriver mode.  If he's not already hit his ceiling, which is not unthinkable anymore, maybe he can develop a healthy balance in a few years.  For now, think about the following:

  • The downfield passing game has got to go.  Garrett is just enabling Romo's worst tendencies.  Short- to mid-range passes, quick slants and outs, and relying on the receivers to gain the necessary YAC.
  • Receivers:  We really ought to consider moving T.O. to the slot at least 50% of the time.  Yes, this makes Crayton expendable, but we already have superb outside receivers in Austin and RW2.  T.O. is not the prototypical slot receiver, but he has all the requisite qualities needed for the position.  Think of a bigger, stronger, meaner and tanner Wes Welker.  Let Romo just dump passes off to these guys.  Hopefully, this will also take some pressure off the line.
  • Run, run, run, run, run the ball.  Mix MB3 and Felix in the first and fourth quarters.  Choice and Felix in the second and third.  The ball needs to be run at least 35 times a game.  This is going to take some tweaking of the O Line, but the return of Kosier should be a big step forwards.

Romo should not need to throw the ball more than 20 times a game, and his game needs to handled like he's a rookie. For a kid who can't keep his hands out of the cookie jar, the best solution is to keep the jar out of reach until the child starts to behave.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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