What is it with quarterbacks in Texas? Last week Matt Schaub threw a game tying interception against Houston and subsequently crapped the bed in San Francisco on Sunday night. This week it was the NFLâ€™s favourite whipping boy Tony Romo who, despite a career day, managed to revert to form and throw an interception that cost his team a game. A storyline that is all too familiar for Cowboys fans has the entire state pining for a quarterback to win their team a game.
Against the Broncos, Romo was able to match Peyton Manning score for score which is a fair achievement. For 58 minutes, fans got to see the best of Romo as he was at his improvising best when throwing the ball. It seemed like half of his throws came on broken plays where he had to buy time as his protection broke down. He was seeing holes in the Broncos defense and was finding open receivers no matter who they were. On his first seven completions they went to six different receivers.
He finished the day with over 500 yards, 5 touchdowns and 48 points, that should have been enough for the Cowboys to win but that good work was undone with a boneheaded play at the end of the game. At 48-48 with under two minutes left, there was no way he could count on his defense to make another stop, he had to score. Since he had put up 48 points it was fair to assume that they would have little to no trouble moving the ball. As the pocket collapsed around him Romo forced the ball towards a crossing Gavin Escobar who had three defenders in the same vicinity. Danny Trevathean dove in front of the pass and was able to pick it off. It was a lose-lose deal for Romo here as it came on 2nd and 16 after a sack on the previous play. Lose more yardage here and it would have been too far to go on third down giving Denver the ball back with 90 seconds on the clock and a short field. His best option would have been to check the ball down to Demarco Murray who was standing just on the other side of the line and could have at least picked up 3 or 4 yards. Hindsight is always 20-20, it just seems like it needs to be applied to Romo more than most other players.
In all fairness to Romo, he has not done a whole lot wrong this year, that interception was only his second but it is what people will remember. He has been productive in every game and is on pace for a career low in interception so far. It is still the same as always however, when the game is on his shoulders, the execution is not there. With the entire division struggling, 2-3 is not good enough and if Romo is able to get on a hot streak and cut out the stupid mistakes then the Cowboys will be able to get back into the playoffs. Just like Matt Schaub, Romo needs to pull his head out of his ass and get the team into the playoffs. It is the nature of the beast that a single bad play can ruin what would have otherwise been a career day and that is what they signed up for.