This Loss Cannot Be Blamed on Tony Romo
In my best Mike Ditka voice, "Romo haters ... Stop it!"
These bandwagoning, fair-weather fans come out of the woodwork like cockroaches when the lights turn off. And, while we can all agree that Tony Romo plays like a less talented and less decorated Brett Favre, this particular loss cannot be pinned on him.
The first of Romo's two fourth quarter interceptions was a game changer, no doubt. But, that interception is not on him; it's on the coaching staff.
Now, before you start calling me names and saying things like, "Romo checked into that pass from a run. It's his fault!"... please consider a couple things:
Even the best players have to be protected from themselves on occasion. Yes, Romo had a "check with me" with Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin on that play, a run/pass option that the Cowboys execute probably 4-5 times a game. However, situational football would dictate that if you're protecting the lead with less than four minutes to go, you run the ball. Period.
When the Cowboys started that drive, head coach Jason Garrett needed to get in Romo's ear and tell him that his options and audibles were off the table. He needed to tell him that we're running the ball ... that it does not matter if there are 10 defenders in the box, just execute the play that's been called and run the football. After all, DeMarco Murray had 134 yards on just 18 carries. Give him the ball.
If you don't buy that, think about this: The Cowboys only had six rushing attempts in the second half of that game! Think about that ... six total running plays in an entire half of fooball. A half, as we saw, that had them leading by 23 points when the third quarter started. If the Dallas coaching staff does its job and ensures that even just four or five more running plays are executed, there wouldn't be enough time left in the game for the Packers to complete their comeback.
There wouldn't have been the time, or the opportunity, for Romo to throw two interceptions in the last four minues of the game.
Let's be frank here. These are the times when coaches earn their money. Jason Garrett is not coaching Tony Romo on how to throw a spiral or lead a receiver. Jason Garrett is supposed to know how to put his players in the best position to win. He is supposed to ensure that -- at critical times in the game -- the situation is understood. He is supposed to know how to mitigate risk and do his best to prevent a disaster.
This is the failure.
It is Jason Garrett's failure. Not Tony Romo's.