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This just in: Romo is not the problem.

Tim's picture

Before the Romo-hate starts (and I know it will,) let me just be upfront and say this: Tony Romo's talents are utterly wasted on this crappy team.

In case you were not watching tonight, here is what happened: Romo was sacked three times in his first seven drop-backs. He played with a busted up throwing hand, behind an offensive line with backups (one an undrafted rookie free agent) playing at both guard positions, with essentially no defense on the field at all.

What did he do? He completed 78% of his passes for 289 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 105.9.

Three blown fumble recoveries, two Miles Austin drops and a partridge in a pear tree.

Yes, Romo threw an interception. It cost the team exactly 1:53 on the clock and no points. For once the defense bailed out Romo. If you are keeping score at home - don't bother. Romo has done a hell of a lot more bailing than the defense has since 2006. The problem isn't Romo – the problem is how much bailing this leaky ship needs.

Tony Romo is the only quarterback in team history to pass for over 4000 yards in a season – and he just did it for the third time. Tony Romo just came up one completion short of the most completions in a season in team history. The record is held by Tony Romo. Tony Romo has the highest passer rating and lowest interception percentage in Dallas Cowboys history, both by a healthy margin.

All year we had to listen to the crap about poor Eli Manning having to carry too heavy a load. Romo was without one (or both) of his top wide receivers for at least six games this year. He was without his #1 running back (which one is that?) most of the year. He was without his starting offensive linemen for 16 games, and down to #2 or #3 on the depth chart for at least three games. He had guys off the street in the backfield and on the OL. He played four games with a broken rib and one with a (sort of) broken throwing hand. He missed a whole game.

What did he do? He threw 31 TD passes. Only one other quarterback in team history has thrown more than 30 in a season – and that was Tony Romo. He had a 1.9 interception percentage, a number previously bested by only Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman - and Tony Romo. He had a season passer rating of 102.5, a number previously bested by – nobody. He has the second best career passer rating in NFL history. Yes, it's only a stat. Yes, it means something.

For this year, I am not going to place too much blame on the offensive line – not because they were good, but because the line was filled with rookies, back-ups and spare parts all year. I don't really know what we have there yet. I know it needs to be improved, but it isn't the five alarm fire we have on the other side of the line.

Rob Ryan did not fix the defense. But could anybody? It's the players. And it isn't the secondary (Terence Newman notwithstanding.) It's all up front. Teams can take Ware out of the game (and they do.) Who else do they really have to worry about in the front seven? This team has been unable to generate pressure in literally years. It isn't the scheme.

I understand that most experts picked Cowboys to go 8-8 and finish third in the division. But I don't sit here in my overpriced jersey watching these football games because I want them to meet mediocre expectations.

If it makes you feel any better, Jerry Jones gets zero credit for the combination of coincidence and dumb luck that made Romo the starting quarterback for this team.

But that doesn't change the fact that one of Romo's few remaining years was just wasted, and I don't trust Jerry Jones to find a replacement for the guy he gets no credit for finding in the first place.

There. I said it.

samithdavid
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philyew3
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That pretty much says it all. The only thing missing was the special teams, which have been far from special of late, even though they haven't been an outright disaster. With McBriar's injury reducing his effectiveness, it didn't look much of a drop off to his stand-in...until he shanked his kick out short of the 50 and set up a short field, which the utterly inept defense could not defend. Four plays and the game was over.
 
Never count your chickens. Dan Bailey looked like gold dust, until Red burst his bubble in Arizona and since then it's been a lottery. Tonight was no exception, with a long field goal drifting wide and his kick-offs failing to reach the end zone.
 
The returns have mostly either been spiritless or bizarrely over-ambitious. I always breathe a sigh of relief if they make it back to the 20 when running it out of the end zone. 
 
Then you get unlucky penalties like the one on Ball, for illegal touching. No luck, but then none was really deserved.
 
So that's an all-round "F", but let's console ourselves with the thought that in a few short months this will be nothing more than another dreadful stat in Tony Romo's December resume and we will all be able to go into the 2012 season knowing that, if only he could be a better QB, we would be a lock for the next Super Bowl.
 
 

philyew3
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 Well, just maybe the light is coming on. Today, all I have been reading about is how the Cowboys in general are just not good. It isn't - at least yet - a trite discussion about how Manning out-gunned Romo (although, in truth, he did).
 
In reality, NO QB would be able to succeed with the huge holes in talent/application around this roster.
 
I just scanned the career records of Troy Aikman, Danny White and Roger Staubach and saw that, between them, they only amassed 7 seasons with a QB rating better than Romo's WORST to date. Romo has already surpassed the career TD totals of White and Aikman and is just a literal handful short of passing Staubach. That has been achieved in what amounts to just 5-and--a-half seasons.
 
The Cowboys started the year with an inexperienced OL hardly capable of doing Romo justice, and the inevitable injuries made that worse as the season progressed. It was a significant tell, when last year's reject, Montrae Holland, came back and imediately improved the quality of the performance. Sadly, it didn't last.