Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo may be the only signal caller in NFL history to be blamed for a loss in which he threw five touchdowns and his defense gave up more than 50 points. Yes, the TV genius class has become that comical.
NFL analysts across the country rolled their eyes at Same-Old Romo following the Cowboys 51-48 loss Sunday, after he became just the second quarterback in NFL history to score at least 48 points in regulation and lose.
Juxtapose that to expert takes on the 0-5 start of Eli Manning’s New York Giants. While Romo was matching big brother score for score, Eli was tossing picks to the wildly inept Philadelphia Eagle defense. Manning finished the day with three interceptions, boosting his league-leading total to 12, and added an astonishing three intentional grounding penalties. Where are the stat geeks on that one?
For years Cowboys fans have wondered just how elite Eli would be if he had to play behind Romo’s line, and trust his fourth-quarter leads to Romo’s defense.
Now we know: 15 sacks, 12 picks, a 64 passer rating, and an 0-5 record.
But the experts strike a different tone in their Eli analysis. Sure, they say, Eli’s throwing interceptions, but that’s because of the disgraceful play of his offensive line. Sure, they say, the Giants are winless, but that’s because of the staggering ineptitude of the Giants defense.
That’s all true. That’s fair analysis. Football is a team game that spans four 15-minute quarters and employs three phases – offense, defense and special teams – all of which need to perform capably to contribute to a win.
Where’s all that sage analysis been for Romo the past two years? Romo’s been running for his life at nearly every snap, playing through busted ribs and punctured organs. A beat up and constantly harrassed Romo was 9-10 the past two seasons in fourth-quarter comeback opportunities. Untold story: He brought his team back to tie or lead in eight of those 10 losses, and the defense failed to hold.
With the team rebuilding after a 6-10 season, playing behind a God-awful offensive line, supported by a historically inept defense and with no running game to speak of, Romo has been crucified among the genius class for going 8-8 the past two seasons.
Today the Giants are 0-5, and their quarterback is leading the league in interceptions. Why the tender treatment for Eli?