At some point, it’s hard to argue with the facts. Tony Romo gets a lot of flack for being terrible in the biggest moments, but after his awful mistakes, along with his head coach and offensive coordinator calling terrible plays, the Dallas Cowboys don’t look like a team that will end up in the playoffs, blowing a 23 point lead against the Green Bay Packers and finding themselves in a situation they should never have reached.
The Dallas Cowboys were cruising against a Packers team that is without Aaron Rodgers, instead playing with Matt Flynn at quarterback. They built a 26-3 lead going into half time. Statistically, it was almost impossible for them to lose the game. But their defense gave in, as usual, allowing Eddie Lacy to run for 141 yards, while Matt Flynn threw four touchdown passes in two quarters, leading to the dramatic 37-36 victory.
How did Dallas allow this to happen? Not just losing their hold of the NFC East, falling to 7-7 and are now forced to win their next two games against divisional rivals, which will mean also playing against the Philadelphia Eagles, the current group leaders on the final day, but in this one? Tony Romo is the first name to come up, throwing two interceptions in the final three minutes of the game, allowing the Packers the chance to grab their first lead since the first quarter and end the game on kneel downs.
Romo is trying to escape the ‘loser’ label, but it seems he keeps finding out ways to lose games, and ruin his legacy, and the Cowboys’ chances of playing in the playoffs for the first time since the 2009 season. The playcalling coming from Bill Callahan and the overall responsibility of Jason Garrett can’t be overlooked, as the Cowboys kept throwing the ball while in the lead in the second half an in need of killing the clock. On that final interception, as Sam Shields picked off the pass, Romo actually ignored the call through the coms to hand off to DeMarco Murray.
This is the 7th time Tony Romo has thrown a pick in the 4th quarter or overtime with his team tied or leading by 1 possession. That is nearly twice as many as any other QB since 2006, when Romo became the team’s starter. He is now tied with Tom Brady for the most 4th-quarter interceptions this season when the score is within five points, and joins Geno Smith as the only quarterbacks to throw multiple 4th-quarter interceptions in the same game when the score is within five points this season.
While the Green Bay Packers, well behind, didn’t give up on the run in the second half, it was hard to understand how the Dallas Cowboys carried the ball only 18 times in the game, with DeMarco Murray going for 134 yards and a touchdown. Yes, Tony Romo was feeling hot as almost every long ball he was attempting in the first half fell into the right hands, but the success went to his and his OC’s head, resulting in a disaster in footballing terms.
The Cowboys still control their own destiny but it shouldn’t have gotten to this – not a loss, and not once again being forced to win out in order to save this season. When it’s all over, a lot of the team’s success this season will have to do with Tony Romo’s ability, but if it ends in failure, it’ll be on him as well, this time without the ability to argue about it.