I felt the need to do this fan post because I think people get the wrong impression after I have made some comments about Tony Romo and his play from Sunday night. I don't hate Tony Romo at all. He is a good, not great (we will get into that later), quarterback who can shred defenses on any given Sunday. Romo gives this franchise a chance to win any football game, no matter the opponent, but he also can lose the game for us in the same aspect because of his reckless mistakes.
Brandon Worley had some choice words for me after I made a comment about not forgiving Romo for his two huge blunders the other night. Brandon and other fans of this website are allowed to have their opinion. Maybe I do get too emotional at times, but I am so passionate about the Tony Romo stuff because of how good Romo can be (we will touch on that later too). It is also my right as a fan to question stupid plays and reckless behavior by our franchise quarterback. I will never question the great plays obviously and I will never question simple mistakes, but the reckless mistakes that cost your team football games I will question no matter who the player is.
I cannot simply forgive any player right away after making two critical decisions that cost the team the game. It was just a regular season game right? That game was bigger than a regular season game, it was like a playoff game. The atmosphere of that game was no normal circumstances. The caliber of team we played and the atmosphere in the stadium that night felt much larger than just a regular season game, make no mistake that was a huge game for the Dallas Cowboys. Do you know what a win like that on the road would have done for us? It would have been a huge motivational factor in the season going forward.
Now I understand it is hard to place blame on one player for a team game, but it is clear to me who lost that football game. This defense is nowhere near the caliber this offense is right now. Even with all the injuries we had to the cornerbacks, this defense really played pretty well. They did enough for us to win the game. The offense is going to have to step up and put as many points on the board to win football games for us right now. You cannot leave points off the board in the redzone, especially with 9 minutes left in the football game clinging to a seven point lead. If we go up 14 points, game over. If we go up 10, we are in prime position to seal a victory or increase our odds significantly.
People will say that Romo was trying to make a play. The type of play he was trying to make was something you do when your desperate for seven points, we weren't in desperation mode at that time. We held the lead, we held all the cards. You throw that ball away or slide and we go up two possessions, we still hold the cards. The quarterback needs to know that taking a risk like he did can cost you zero points, which it did.
One thing I just cannot support anymore is the mistakes Romo made the other night. If it were the first time we saw this reckless behavior, than I could live with it and call it a night. But how many times have we seen Romo be flat out reckless and make stupid decisions that cost this team games? Too many by my count. Of course we have seen great things from Tony Romo, but the bad is downright ugly and those type of plays stick in your mind. Remember this isn't some rookie quarterback, this is a guy who has been in this system for five years now, but makes rookie type mistakes and they need to stop.
I want to start off with some numbers here. As most of you know, I am not usually a stat driven writer. This time I want to show some numbers that relate to the topic and bring substance to my article. You know how good Romo was the other night for the entire game minus those two plays? He was downright amazing. Did you know that the 342 yards he passed for were the most the Jets have given up under Rob Ryan at home? This is how good Romo can be. He can shred up a defense and really make it look like a thing of beauty.
I also found this on the ESPN article I was reading just before I wrote this.
Romo has nine fourth quarter comebacks and 10 game-winning drives since becoming the full-time starter in 2006. He also has thrown 34 fourth quarter touchdowns, tied for third among NFL quarterbacks since 2006. And his 49 completed passes of 25 or more yards is tops among NFL quarterbacks since 2006.
As we can see, Romo has been clutch in the fourth quarter before and led this team to victory. The 34 fourth quarter touchdowns are right up there in the top three of the NFL. The problem is, he has 18 fourth quarter interceptions as well, and I am sure some of those interceptions have been horrible mistakes that have cost this team games.
One of the reasons I am such a hard critic of Tony Romo is because I hold high standards for him. He is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, this isn't some third rate franchise we are talking about. He plays the most important position for one of the biggest teams in the world. Now with that job comes big time scrutiny and pressure, but if you take the paycheck, you better perform. Maybe that is cold, but it's the truth.
I also criticize Romo so much because of just how good I think he can be. I think Romo has the skill set to become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. I think Tony Romo can become great. Right now I cannot say he is a great quarterback, but I will say he is a good quarterback on the borderline of being great. What is holding him back is the stupid and reckless decisions we saw the other night from him. In 2009, after a devastating loss in our stadium opener, Romo vowed to not make mistakes that cost his team the game. After that game I saw a great quarterback who had an amazing season. If Romo can just stop those stupid mistakes, he can be called one of the great quarterbacks in this league, but until he does that we cannot mention him in the great category.
I am tired of these mistakes that Romo makes because they are plays that sway the game to the other team. Time and time again we think Romo is past the amateur hour stuff, but it pops it's ugly head up again. I thought after 2009 it was gone. In 2010 I saw it in Minnesota where he threw two interceptions right to EJ Henderson. After that I didn't see him make those type of mistakes again. Then in the preseason I saw him make another one of those stupid throws in the Chargers game.
I understand a lot of the passes we throw are timing routes where the ball is thrown before the receiver is there. Romo is a technician at this when he brings his A game, but that interception to Revis was awful for a couple of reasons. Dez was gassed, we all saw that he was out of gas by the fourth quarter. Yes the coaching staff needs to do a better job of not playing a guy like that, because it hurts the team. It was clearly obvious to me Dez had little fight left in him, if he had anything left at all he would give his full effort. Knowing that your wide receiver is out of gas and making him fight for a ball is a little perplexing to say at the least. Revis had safety help over the top, which is the first time I have seen him get help like that in a long time. Revis was in front of Dez the moment Romo threw that football. From my angle, it looked like Romo threw the ball right to Revis.
That interception was awful, and many agree with me. Raf said the same thing on his website. DCFanatic said the same thing too and I hold their opinions pretty highly. Romo needs to throw that ball away to live another day. I know he is trying to do too much, but there are times where you need to play it safe. Considering the team we were playing and the circumstances of his decision, that was reckless.
I don't hate Tony Romo, but it is going to take some time for me to heal the wounds he reopened the other night. I love what he can do for this team when he isn't reckless. These mistakes simply need to stop. Say Revis made a great play the other night and picked the ball off, I could live with that. That football was thrown right to him, he didn't have to make a play on the ball because it was thrown right to him. If Romo throws passes and a defensive back makes a play, I can understand that, I won't bash you for that. But if your going to make stupid decisions that cost the team being reckless, I will call you out for it.
I expect to see a very conservative Tony Romo this Sunday vs the 49ers. I could see him having a huge game where he throws for 4 touchdowns and over 300 yards, but I expect him to be more careful with the football. Tony Romo is the franchise quarterback, make no mistake about that. Without Romo this team would be in a bad place, I will never argue otherwise. If the same mistakes keep repeating themselves, I think it's time to consider replacing Romo. Honestly, I don't see it coming to that. I think Romo will repeat his 2009 performance all over again in 2011. Romo is not a quitter, he may be many things, but he always comes back to fight for his honor.
Tony, you hurt me the other night because I know you are better than that. If you keep making the same mistakes over and over again, I cannot defend you for that. Let us move forward, start off with a clean slate for the last time. We all know you are better than that, look at how well you performed minus those two plays. You brought it hard to one of the best teams in the NFL and threw for the most yards against the Jets at home under Rob Ryan. You can be elite, but the reckless mistakes just need to stop.
I do not hate Tony Romo.