|Tony Romo - Fantasy is Not Reality||Tweet|
|Written by Mike Amato|
|Monday, 15 October 2012 06:57|
Only the Dallas Cowboys could lose a game like they did on Sunday. It seemed like they were playing against themselves and the Baltimore Ravens. Every time the Cowboys looked like they were going to pull out an improbable win, they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Dallas somehow managed to lose after dominating the time of possession by holding the ball for over 40 minutes, rushing for over 200 yards against a vaunted Ravens defense, marching down the field on an attempted game-tying 18 play drive, and recovering a subsequent onside kick. However, the problem was they showed atrocious clock management, dropped an easy two-point conversion that would have tied the game, and missed a game-winning 51-yard field goal.
By the way, that last sequence by the Cowboys confirmed once and for all that coach Jason Garrett’s clock management skills are terrible. With his perception of time I think everybody would live for 200 years.
All this did was put more fuel on the fire that is “The Tony Romo Debate”. The question at hand is whether or not Romo is an elite NFL quarterback, and should be at the helm for the Dallas Cowboys. And a debate that can often get more contentious than Obama or Romney.
There may be no other quarterback that takes more criticism than Romo on a week-to-week basis, but before you go feeling sorry for him, keep in mind that it’s pretty damn good to be Tony Romo. The guy is the quarterback for America’s team, married to a former Miss Missouri, spent quality time with Jessica Simpson and Carrie Underwood, and is a scratch golfer. Perhaps that’s why he is such an easy target. He’s that guy that seemingly has everything, so a part of you is pleased to see him fail at something.
What makes Romo so polarizing is that he’s hard to read, and figuring him out may be easier than diffusing a bomb. From a purely fantasy perspective he has a lot to offer. He has hit double digits this year in every week but one, and he still put up 11 points in that week four meltdown where he threw five picks against the Chicago Bears. In fact, Yahoo is predicting the lowest total he will post in a week for the rest of the season is 16, against the Eagles in early November.
Like a good act in show business though, Romo always leaves you wanting more. He seems like he is leaving points out on the field. In order to truly understand him, you have to watch him closely. If you just look at box scores you will be easily fooled.
Take Sunday’s game against the Ravens for instance. Romo went 25-for-36 with two touchdowns to just one interception, for 261 yards. Looks decent right? Well if you caught the game then you probably know that the interception he threw really cost the Cowboys. Dallas was driving late in the first half and approaching the red zone when Romo was picked by Cary Williams. The Ravens promptly marched down the field and punched it in for what was essentially at least a 10, if not 14 point swing.
Who was at fault for the interception is anyone’s guess. It looked like receiver Kevin Ogletree may have stopped his route, but either way the throw was risky in that situation. If you take away that play, the Cowboys probably win easily and the last second drama could have all been avoided. The miscue with Ogletree was a microcosm of how Romo doesn’t always seem to be fully in sync with his receivers. He doesn’t seem to have the on-the-fly connection like Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning or Tom Brady does with his receivers.
Remember that early December game last year against the New York Giants? The Cowboys led by 12 with just over five minutes left and looked primed to end the Giants season. All Dallas needed was a first down and they would have virtually assured themselves a division title. Romo overthrew a wide open Miles Austin and the rest is history.
No matter what anyone says, Romo has the talent around him to win. When you have one of the league’s best tight ends over the last ten years in Jason Witten, two quality receivers in Dez Bryant and Austin, and a decent running game, that’s really all you can ask for. Now he does have an average defense, but in a salary cap world you can’t have everything in the NFL. Keep in mind the New England Patriots made the Super Bowl last year with arguably the worst defense of all-time, and I watched the Giants win it with a running game that was dead last in the entire league. And you may remember Tom Brady winning three championships throwing passes to guys like David Givens, Troy Brown, and Christian Fauria. So it can be done.
When you play quarterback you are going to often get too much credit when things are going well and too much blame when things are going poorly. It would be easy to blame Bryant for dropping that two-point conversion or Dan Bailey for missing the winning kick against the Ravens, but Romo needs to do a better job of not letting it come down to that. Many times one negative play is so bad that it cancels out all the good Romo has done throughout the game.
At the end of the day Romo is a very good quarterback, he’s just not great. As fans we have a vision of what an athlete’s career should entail. Burst onto the scene like a house on fire, go through some struggles, overcome adversity and win a championship, and watch ESPN make a 30 for 30 on them. The reality is it doesn’t always happen that way. And hey, if he doesn’t end up leading Dallas to the promise land, it won’t be that bad being on a list with the likes of Jim Kelly, Warren Moon, and Dan Marino will it?
Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @amato_mike
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 07:18|