WHAT! Yep the reason we lost to the Jets was NOT due entirely to any Romistakes. How can I say this? I am so glad you asked. Lets start off with a Basic premise: To win a game in the NFL,
A) the Offense should Score more than 21 points
B) the Defense should Allow less than 21 points
C) the Special teams cannot allow any scores
So if we fallow this Basic Premise:
The Dallas Offense- scored 24 points- thus meeting Criteria "A"
The Dallas Defense allowed 20 points- thus meeting Criteria "B"
The Special teams allowed 7 points- thus NOT meeting Criteria "C"
so it was NOT all Romo's fault that Dallas lost.... in fact the INT might have had minimal effect on the fact that Dallas Lost. And the Fumble? The fumble itself was not the deal breaker(it happened on 3rd and goal), but the fact that Dallas was unable to score a TD was. Follow me past the jump for a further explaination
So let us Look at this in detail shall we?
After the Fumble what Happened: Score 24-17. The Jets marched to around midfield, then the Defense forced a fumble themselves. After the Jets Defense forced the Cowboys to punt, they blocked said punt, then scored on the ensuing return. After a few stalled drives by each team, Cowboys then got the ball at their own 41 yard line where Romo was intercepted and Had it returned to around the Dallas 35 yard line. At which point the Jets gained a couple of yards then kicked the go ahead field goal. After the kickoff from there Dallas was unable to move into field goal range and lost. I know I omitted a couple of details but that about sums it up right? So lets look at a few "alternate" Scenarios shall we?
Scenario #1: Romo doesn't Fumble, Dallas kicks a field goal.
This is the most popular scenario that the fans play out. However a field goal DOES NOT Guarantee a win. What happens if we kick a field goal? Well Look at the sequence of events that followed:
We kick a Field goal: Score 27-17.The Jets marched to around midfield, then the Defense forced a fumble themselves. After the Jets Defense forced the Cowboys to punt, they blocked said punt, then scored on the ensuing return. Score 27-24 After a few stalled drives by each team, Cowboys then got the ball at their own 41 yard line where Romo was intercepted and Had it returned to around the Dallas 35 yard line.. At which point the Jets gained a couple of yards then kicked the
go ahead Tying field goal. After the kickoff from there Dallas was unable to move into field goal range and the game goes into Overtime...
Now I will not continue the Scenario further than that. Why? because We will never know what could have happened after that. The point though is that a Field goal means that given the rest of the game, Dallas would not have won in regulation if the same sequence of events had played out. Which could have very well happened.
Scenario #2: Romo loses the Fumble but does not throw the INT, Score 24-24. Sequence of Events afterwards: Nw remember that there was less than a minute to go in regulation. Given the fact that we were on out own 41 yard line, had we not picked up the first down, I imagine that Garretts punts the ball here. At which point the Jets run out the clock, and the game goes into Overtime...So with out the INT what happens? we go to OT. Again there is no guarantee that Dallas wins there either, so IMO the INT might have not mattered in the sense that with or without it we lose.
Scenario #3:.The Punt isn't blocked: Score 24-17. Sequence of events afterwards: this is the one one of two scenarios that fundamentally changes the game. The other would be had we scored a TD which I will detail in a minute.but lets Look at what what occured...McBriar punts from the 32 yard line. given a decent punt(40 yards from the spot McBriar punted from) that puts the Jets at roughly their own 30 yard line with 5 minutes to play...needing two scores, a FG and TD, just to tie. Given the fact that Neither team did anything Offensively after that, With out the punt block, we go into the final drive up 24-17, with a minute left in the game....the Jets with all three time outs. All we would have had to do was keel down after running the play clock down if I am not mistaken. Now could the jets have tied the game up? Possibly. but I am trying to remain within what actually happened in the game.
Scenario #4. We Score a TD and go up 31-17(which interestingly enough is what Bigham was predicting the score to be) This right here is the ONLY scenario that Guarantees Dallas a Victory. Regardless of what happened after that if we score a TD there we win. the Punt block? makes it 31-24. The INT? 31-27 It is that simple.folks. So lets review shall we?
The Romo fumble...considering it was 3rd and goal at that point the Fumble itself did nothing to lose the game. The only thing it prevented was a tie, and considering how badly we have been in that situation, there is no guarantee that Dallas scores even if we go for it on fourth down.
The INT- while at first glance it appears to be the game sealer, but remember the INT happened with less than a minute left in regulation. All in did was prevent OT, assuming that Dallas does not get into FG range. Now if we get to OT does Dallas win? Maybe, maybe not, won't ever know that. but did it lose it? not by itself
So while yes Romo's fumble and INT appear to be bad, and I am not saying they weren't, if you remove the Punt block from the equation neither one of them matter. The Biggest killer of the game other than that would be Dallas's inability to score a TD from the 3 yard line. IF We score there, considering how rest of the game played out a TD Guarantees a win. If we score a TD there that means it is a 14 point lead with 9-10 minutes left to play. which means that the jets would have had to score TWO TD's and a FG to win it....
So to all those that are dumping on Romo saying he lost us the game, he didn't. I am not saying that the INT was not a huge play(it was 1st and 10, You have to throw that Ball away Romo) in the overall game it was Not the worst thing that Happened. It was a combination of factors that caused Dallas to lose.
So look at it this way. In order to win, The Jets HAD to get a blocked punt, recover a Romo fumble AND Get an INT to win in regulation. You take out the blocked punt, Dallas wins. Remove the fumble we either win(TD) or go to OT(FG), remove the INT...we go to OT. Not bad for a 6-10 team with a brand new Defensive scheme,a #2 wr that was playing hurt, plus missing 2 of its top 3 CB's and at some points all three of them, playing on the road...if you ask me.....