A couple weeks ago I suggested that Jason Garrett rein in Tony Romo ‘just enough to get to the Superbowl’. The same way Mike Holmgren did with Brett Favre in the 90′s. The ‘just enough’ part is very important. Sunday’s game against the Patriots, Jason Garrett went too far.
In the pre-season, Jason said that Romo was working on his game but they wanted Tony to be Tony (meaning continue to improvise and make plays out of nothing). Apparently, six weeks into the season, Tony Romo is still a work in progress. How many years has he been in the League? Isn’t it safe to say he is who he is. Holmgren was able to get to Favre early in his career, maybe it’s too late to change Romo.
It seemed awfully reactionary of Garrett to get criticized for not running the ball with a 24 point lead, then to run the ball the next game when you have a 3 point lead and it was important to pass on at least one of those downs. A first down on that drive by Dallas would have meant game over for the Patriots. If Jason did buckle to the outside pressure and this is the result, as a fan, this doesn’t work for me.
I don’t like what I saw at the end of the game. I don’t think anybody did. If this is Jason’s idea of reining in Tony Romo to prevent the big mistake, then he might as well play Jon Kitna (no offense Jon). No.. with four or five minutes left in the game and one first down to get, I fully expected to see Romo being Romo. Instead I got Romo being Jason Campbell!.. Really? If you’re going to do that, you need Darren McFadden in your backfield. Besides, the Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line is a patchwork of young and inexperienced players learning to play well together. They can’t run block worth a damn yet Garrett calls three run plays in a row and…surprise!…we had to punt. It doesn’t even sound good writing it here.
The new England Patriot fans got what they paid to see at Foxboro; Tom Brady
being Tom Brady. What did Cowboys Nation get? We got safe. We got… Jacksonville Jaguars (no offense). We got boring. We don’t have Tom Brady, but we don’t have Jason Campbell either. I know I speak for a lot of us Cowboys fans when I say: “If you can’t swing a trade for Brady or Brees or Rodgers, forget this shutting down of Tony. We want Romo being Romo”.
You see, Tony Romo is a really good QB. Remember Cowboys Nation? We took to him the moment he stepped on the field to replace Drew Bledsoe. He’s got that ‘it‘ factor. He makes watching the game more interesting, more explosive, more fun, more watchable. Like Terry Bradshaw did that for Pittsburgh in the 70′s or like Ben Roethlisberger does for them now. Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman did it for us (Danny White didn’t). Eli Manning, as average as I think he is, increases The NY Giants watch-ability. Kurt Warner put the Arizona cardinals on the map. It is so important for an NFL team to have these guys on their rosters. It’s not enough to be good, you have to have that ‘it’ intangible. They become, literally, the FACE of the franchise. It’s not exclusively QBs. Walter Payton comes to mind for the Bears as does our own Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith. Every team needs players on their team that people will flock to see. Players with that ‘it’ factor, the personalities. Why do you think the Dallas Cowboys have remained so popular even though we haven’t achieved anything in years? It’s the promise based on the players.
Tell me that this Dallas Cowboys team would be as popular (which translates to more $$ for owners) with a Jason Campbell or a Matt Schaub as our QB? No, we wouldn’t. We are the most popular NFL team again this year, even though we have no recent trophies. Jerry Jones understands this. He wanted to see Romo being Romo too, based on his comments after the loss. Because he is a big fan of Romo and his Cowboys and that’s what he paid to see. He’s also a good business man and he knows that’s what we pay to see. Jason Garrett playing it safe not to lose, instead of trying to win. Taking the ball out of Romo’s hands, shows Jason Garrett might not know.