In my fanpost I created the other day, titled "The Romo Thing", a commentator (TheNickinator) posted an image that Coty used in his latest post about Romo's latest interception that led to an elimination game loss. It was a fine breakdown and you can check it out here. This is a spin off of Coty's post with some of my own opinions.
From that image I could tell exactly what Romo was thinking during that split second decision that eventually led to the demise of the 2012 season for the Cowboys. You see, when we're at home sitting on the couch we only see a fraction of the field. We rarely ever see what's ahead of the play until the player with the ball is followed by the camera. The angles are against us, which skews our perspectives in terms of what's reality and what's not.
In this case, it looks as if this was a horrible decision by Romo. In hindsight, yes, a very bad decision. However, try and put yourself in Romo's situation for a minute. There is pressure coming up the middle and you can't step into your throw. You don't want to take a sack and create a long second and third down situation. So you throw it to your running back who has about 15 yards of free space before the next defender would be in range to tackle him. Only, you didn't realize that Rob Jackson didn't rush, he fooled you, causing a turnover.
Tony Romo was just being Tony Romo. No, not that he choked, but that he was trying to make nothing into something. Trying to gain a lot of yards for a big play to put his team in a favorable position to tie or win the game. Only thing is, he got burned. Romo failed to realize Jackson dropped back in coverage. It was an excellent sell by Jackson and he should get more credit than Romo gets blame.
A real reason this happened was simple physics. Even with the defender Romo could have thrown a better pass. When Romo was pressured up the middle this created a scenario where he couldn't have stepped into his throw. If he had been able to, I believe his pass would have hit Murray in stride. Instead, Romo has to throw off his back foot. Any force provided by Romo is going backward, not forward. This creates a lack of a touch on the ball so that the pass can't get to Murray.
If Romo projected that his movements being pushed backwards would create less force on his pass, then this wouldn't have happened. You can't really blame the guy for not accounting for this variable though. He had to realize a lot of things in a matter of seconds.
All we know is that Romo had good intentions. Not that anyone believed he didn't, but many believed he was careless with the ball. He had a vision and that vision ended with a DeMarco Murray touchdown if the block down field held throughout the play.