This week Phil Simms said Romo had hurt his back several weeks before the Washington game this past Sunday. It made me wonder if an earlier injury this year has been hampering Romo. The fact is, Romo has not been himself since the Denver game. In fact, Romo has been downright pedestrian by his standards during that time.
I was beginning to wonder if father time or maybe one too many hits have put Romo into the inevitable decline that all athletes face. Why? Because if you compare Romo's last ten game with the 16 games before that, certainly there has been a serious drop off. Just consider the following facts:
- In the last ten games, Romo has thrown for fewer than 200 yards three times.In the prior 16 games, he never threw for less than 200 yards.
- In the last ten games, Romo completed just 59.7 percent of his passes four times. In the prior 16 games, 66.9 percent.
- In the last ten games, Romo threw for 231 yards per game. In the prior 16, 314.
The thing is, this year, Romo has had a better line. His receivers are better (Beasley has been terrific and Williams is a godsend). Plus, DeMarco has been healthy longer and has really been quite good the last seven weeks when he came back from being injured. These differences really showed up the first five games this year when Romo completed over 70 percent of his passes in four of the give games, with the Denver game being the only time he didn't hit 70 percent, just missing with 69.4 percent. He also had a fantastic 13 TDs against just two picks. So you would think he would be having a career year.
For the last few years, I have thought that with more time to throw and a decent running game, Romo would be an obviously elite QB and that just hasn't been the case this year, at lest these last ten game. Yes, he has had his moments, but he hasn't been the dominant force I expected.
Sure, receivers have dropped some balls these last ten games, but there have been too many times when Romo simply wasn't accurate. If he has indeed been playing through some of these games with a back injury that wasn't allowing him to be accurate and maybe robbed him of some velocity and mobility, which has also appeared to have been the case from time to time, then it really says a lot about Romo's character that this hasn't been mentioned and to the influence Jason Garrett has had on the team keeping some matters confidential.
All that said, I hope Romo can dig deep and find the will to play and play well this week, but only if he's not putting himself at significant risk to his long term health.