Things did not go as planned for Tony Romo on Thanksgiving versus the Eagles.
Coming into the game, Romo was ranked second in the league with a passer rating of 111.4, but after a game in which he recorded a season-low 53.7 and his 38-game passing touchdown streak was snapped, the Cowboys and Romo took a step back, as he willingly acknowledged.
"When we watch the tape, we are going to see that we did not block well enough, we did not catch well enough and we did not throw well enough," Romo said, according to Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News. "Nothing was going to come easy in that football game, running or throwing. We knew we had a challenge going in, but we needed to be better."
The plan, according to Jerry Jones this morning on 105.3 The Fan, was to play ball-control offense that would limit the amount of defensive snaps the Cowboys defense would have to take, but that plan clearly backfired. According to Jones (and Captain Hindsight), a ball-control, dink-and-dunk gameplan may have been a little too conservative.
"Probably if Tony had to do it over again he would’ve been more aggressive in the game," Jones said per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. "He would’ve asked [Scott] Linehan to be more aggressive in his play calling. But we thought the way to beat this team, and I still think the way to beat them, is to basically keep our defense off the field as much as we can."
Tony Romo didn't try to make any excuses for the lackluster offensive performance or his own unimpressive performance. He's also not one to dwell too much on the last game, instead focusing on the next game.
"We should have been better," Romo said. "I should have been better. And I am going to play much better next week, I can promise you that."
The Cowboys travel to Chicago on Thursday next week, where instead of defending the NFC East division lead as they had hoped for, they'll be fighting to remain relevant in the wildcard race. Such is life in the NFL.
The NFL's uniquely short season gives each game an importance that you don't find in many other sports. That's why Overreaction Monday (or Overreaction Friday, as it were) is an actual thing in the NFL, where a win produces unbridled optimism garnered with rainbows and unicorns, and where a loss results in a state of apocalyptic panic.
In the NFL, one game can change everything. And if Romo makes good on his promise, that game could come as soon as next Thursday.