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The Rob Ryan defense (if you can call it that) is all bark and no fight

Tim's picture

In a game where Romo clearly outplayed Manning, Murray and Jones (not quite as) clearly outran Jacobs and Bradshaw, and turnovers were even, you'd think the home team would win.

Instead, the all bark no bite Rob Ryan defense collapsed again to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

It started with the dropped interception by Newman in the first quarter. In a way, it ended there, as the final margin of defeat was less than the ten point swing caused by that play.

A twelve point lead with 5:41 to play. How do you blow that? At home? With the whole postseason on the line?

Cue Jim Mora: "Playoffs? Playoffs?!"

We can pick out an overthrown pass here or there, or Felix's fumble, or the safety, but those things happen. Romo completed 67.7% of his passes for 321 yards and 4 TDs. Felix picked up 116 yards on 16 carries. The offense scored 34 points. That should be enough to win if you are a serious contender.

The Dallas Cowboys are not serious contenders.

mrmikky63
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Hey Aubrey,My comments on Crayton aren't based on the drop (or him stopping on that end zone route). It's over the year last year.
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ali22 (not verified)
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Tim
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Austin said after the game that he lost the ball in the lights, so that verifies what you saw (and I saw) during the game, I think. Austin never adjusted to the ball because he didn't see it - the pass was fine.
 
 
Manning shuts his eyes and flings the ball so often it just amazes me that he is not picked off even more - and that he does not get called for grounding more. Those late defensive penalties were disastrous not ony for giving yards and downs, but for stopping the clock repeatedly.

philyew3
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 I hadn't realized until I just looked at the stats again how much Romo had outplayed Manning. 
 
Despite Romo's 143+ QB rating, all you hear is what a clutch player Manning is: this despite coming off a 4-game losing skid and the team having a .400 success rate over the last four games of the season since about 2006.
 
It doesn't matter the intrinsic quality of the performance, the idiots who populate the sports media, in the immediate post-game analysis, assign 75% of a QBs value to the W-L column. If the team wins, the QB must be great. If they lose, it's his fault.
 
Nothing else explains the annointment of the painfully under-skilled Tim Tebow as a freaking "miracle", and the constant media hubub to pronounce Manning a more accomplished QB than Romo. As long as Romo has to overcome thoroughly gutless defensive performances in order to come close to winning, nothing will change.
 
PS. I also just noted that Troy Aikman only had one season in his whole Hall-of-Fame career in which he surpassed Romo's career average rating. I know it doesn't mean anything, but it kind of says a lot...if you know what I mean.
 

ammyjames (not verified)
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Tim
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And add to Manning's relative underperformance this: while critics point to Romo's incompletion to Austin (for which Austin takes the blame...) as evidence that Romo just isn't "clutch," but completely overlook Manning's interception on an earlier drive that would otherwise have given his team the lead. And if Newman had hung onto that interception early, of course, nobody would be talking about Manning's performance.It is no credit to Manning that he didn't have to pay for that mistake.

philyew3
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 The level of media bias on this is so ridiculous that I even read a piece decrying Romo for "that pass" even though they acknowledged Austin 'fessed up to losing it in the lights! 
 
What was Romo supposed to do? Throw the ball with a different trajectory to avoid Austin having to look into the lights?
 
Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!  

Tim
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Here are the drives in the 4th quarter:
 
Giants (drive started in 3d) ahead by 2, with a chance to make it a 2 score game: Punt.
 
Cowboys, trailing: Romo 3 for 3 for 85 yards and teh go-ahead TD.
 
Giants, with a chance to regain the lead: Manning Interception.
 
Cowboys: Romo 1 for 1 for a 50 yard TD and a 12 point lead.
 
Giants: Manning TD pass on badly broken coverage and a drive fueled by two Dallas penalties.
 
Cowboys: Austin loses pass in lights, Cowboys punt.
 
Giants: Fueled by more Dallas penalties, Giants take lead.
 
Cowboys, with 46 seconds left: Romo 3 for 3 for 51 yards to put team in position for winning FG (officially 3 for 5, but two are spikes to stop clock) 
 
In no sense did Manning outplay Romo, even in the 4th. Even if you think "that pass" was Romo's fault (and it wasn't.)
 
I get so tired of that junk. In the 4th quarter, score within 7 points, Romo has a passer rating of 99.8 this season - 6 TDs and 2 INTs. Two weeks in a row he has had the team in position to win, but defense and special teams failed. This team has problems. Quarterback is just not one of them.

philyew3
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This feels like a tag-team slamdown :)
 
I re-ran the numbers for Romo's last eight December starts, thinking you hadn't had time to include the Falcons game. I think you may have missed a games-worth of completions along the way because his completion % was actually 76% with a QB rating of 122.6 over those games.
 
Now let's do a similar hatchet-job analysis on Manning. His last 8 December starts have a completion % of 57.6%. He had 2,185 passing yards, 13 TDs and 14 INTs. That's a really impressive QB rating of 76.3, also with a 4-4 record.
 
Of course his disaster against the Redskins stopped the muppets' chatter temporarily, but when it resumes let us all remember that these two aren't even close when it comes to clutch performances. 

Tim
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Hmm...Dallas hasn't played the Falocns in December since 2006. I just looed at the eight most recent: five from 2009 (including the season finale, which was actually played in January) and the three this year.
 
You are absolutely right on Manning, but once you get a SB ring, nobody says you can't win late in the season any more.
 
I hope we get a chance to see if a ring inoculates Romo, too...