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Monday, October 20, 2014

Tony Romo Throws Game Away Against Vikings, Possibly Season

We’ve defended Tony Romo for quite some time now here at LBS.  Losing is always a team effort, and in the past Romo has had to take the blame for a lot of mishaps that the Cowboys could have avoided as a team.  That goes with the territory of being a quarterback in the NFL.  However, Romo is pretty close to completely losing us after his performance against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

The game between Dallas and Minnesota was a classic back-and-forth shootout right down to the wire.  Roy Williams caught a pair of touchdown passes in the first half to lead the Cowboys to a 14-7 edge at halftime, but Percy Harvin took the opening kickoff of the second half 95 yards to tie the score at 14-14.  After an Adrian Peterson rushing touchdown, the Vikings took a 21-14 lead into the final quarter.

Romo did his job in getting the score back to 21-21, thanks to a 31-yard bomb that Dez Bryant exhibited amazing concentration with and reeled in despite bobbling the ball.  Tying the game was no problem for Romo and the Cowboys.  Winning was.

The Cowboys’ defense got the ball back to its offense with 9:02 remaining in the fourth quarter.  That’s when Romo decided to be Romo.  On third down, he threw the ball right into the hands of Minnesota linebacker E.J. Henderson.  It was a classic rookie-type mistake, with Romo completely looking past the linebackers to an open receiver and not accounting for underneath defenders.  The problem with that is Romo’s not a rookie, and the Cowboys desperately needed a win to avoid running their record to 1-4.

Of course, you can always say the defense should have come up with more stops throughout the game.  You can say 21 points should be good enough to win.  You can blame Dez Bryant for letting a slant pass go right through his hands on a third down play in the 4th quarter.  You can blame Wade Phillips’ poor coaching.  I’m sure you could make a legitimate argument for any of those factors, but what I saw was a team that was relying on its quarterback to come up big in a clutch situation only to have him let them down.  Maybe Tony Romo really can’t win the big game.

Perhaps the Cowboys wouldn’t have marched down the field and scored if Romo avoided the interception, anyway.  It’s still his job to give them a chance and that’s something he couldn’t do.  No. 9’s timely error cost the Vikings the game and — sitting at 1-4 — possibly the season.



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