The Dallas Cowboys once again failed to make the playoffs due to several contributing factors. They had several key injuries, played from behind once again, and Tony Romo’s 3 interceptions just absolutely killed the chances of the team advancing ahead and winning the NFC East. Romo is no stranger to a season ending due to a poor performance. Romo’s history is riddled with them.
History has not been kind to Romo beginning with his first season as a starter in 2006. Despite the fact that he had went 5-1 in his first six games after relieving former QB Drew Bledsoe, Romo went 1-3 the last few games of the season throwing 6 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. The Romo-led Cowboys didn’t win the division that year, losing to the woeful Detroit Lions to botch that opportunity. Speaking of botches, Romo did just that as the team played the Seattle Seahawks and Romo couldn’t handle the hold on the field goal attempt that would have given them the lead.
In 2007, despite the fact that the Cowboys secured an opening week bye in the playoffs with a 13-3 record, they quickly exited the playoffs losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Incidentally, the Cowboys beat the Giants twice in the regular season and just couldn’t win it a third time.
The last year the Cowboys played in Texas Stadium was a disaster in 2008. The Cowboys lost 3 out of 4 games in December, didn’t make the playoffs, and closed their final game in the historic stadium with a loss to first time and one time visitors, the Baltimore Ravens. Romo’s December record had been in question the previous two years and the continued ineffectiveness after Thanksgiving continued.
The following year, things actually looked up for Romo and the Cowboys despite the offseason disaster that occurred in May. The practice bubble collapsed and several members of the team were injured. The losing streak in December even looked like it was over, even though they went 2-2. Romo led the Cowboys to an 11-5 record and even won a playoff game against the hated Philadelphia Eagles. The following week though, they fell hard as they lost to the Minnesota Vikings, 34-3. Romo had an interception that game and was pretty much shutdown by the Vikings defense.
Skipping to 2011, all Romo had to do was the lead the ‘boys to a victory over the New York Giants and they were in the playoffs. The offense stalled most of the game and the Giants went on to win 31-14 and eventually were the Super Bowl Champs once more.
Romo has had his share of season ending botches and last Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins will add to his legacy as the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. He has had phenomenal stats throughout the regular seasons, but he seems to just lose it at the end of the season. Romo’s 3 interceptions are a showing of how he can win all of these games to get us close but not close enough to the playoffs. Many began his career comparing him to Roger Staubach due to his ability to improvise on the run and make plays. As of today, some are comparing him to Danny White while some of the older fans even recite his resemblance to “Dandy” Don Meredith. Danny White could win during the regular season but couldn’t get the Cowboys to the Super Bowl. Meredith couldn’t win in the post-season either, losing twice to the Green Bay Packers and another loss to the Cleveland Browns.
The point is though, mentioning Romo in the same breath as Aikman and Staubach cannot happen anymore. Romo has one more year left on his contract and I am pretty sure that Jerry Jones will offer him a contract extension. If it were up to many fans, drafting for the future would be a great idea at this point of Romo’s career plus if we had an up-and-coming quarterback instead of a has been backing him up, we could possibly see a better Romo. Think about the backups Romo has had in the last few seasons, starting out the ousted Drew Bledsoe then former starter Brad Johnson for a couple of seasons as his career was winding down. For the next few seasons, we had Jon Kitna. Kitna, like Johnson, was on the tail end of his career. And then we brought in Kyle Orton this past season. Those backup quarterbacks had one thing in common; they posed no threat to Romo’s starting job. I feel like if they drafted a high profile rookie, put the pressure on Romo to start performing better or he will have the same thing happen to him that happened to Bledsoe.
Either way, Dallas has a lot of work to do in the offseason and addressing the quarterback situation is one of them. Looking at Romo’s track record, I would say it is time for a change of some sort. Getting these cheap, non performing backups isn’t the solution.
History isn’t kind to Tony Romo but if you can’t play for America’s team and perform to a high level that we all expect, we need to look at that history and learn from it.
Happy New Year to you all and let’s raise our glasses to another long offseason and hope it is a productive one, one that will lead the Cowboys back to the playoffs and Super Bowl.