It’s officially a race between the teams competing for the NFC East title this season. The Dallas Cowboys are now not only chasing the Philadelphia Eagles for the division lead, they are also fending off the New York Giants who have stormed back into contention. With the defense hurt and the offense out of sorts, one player on the roster must step up his game and put his team in a position to win now. That player is none other than quarterback Tony Romo.
Looking at the stats you would think that Romo is far from the problem on this team. He has thrown for 2,681 yards, 21 touchdowns and 6 interceptions through 10 games. His passer rating is at a high 98.3 and other than the Denver Broncos game he hasn’t thrown the dreaded 4th quarter pick. But, since that Broncos game his numbers have alarmingly dropped in the last few weeks. He is only averaging 268.1 yards per game and his completion percentages have dropped every game since the Broncos game. In the first 5 games of the season, Romo completed on average 72% of his passes, while in the last 5 games he has completed 55% of his passes. That is a huge drop off, especially considering that he has played some terrible defenses in the last 5 games. Only the New Orleans Saints were ranked in the top 5 of defenses, the rest were all ranked near the bottom of the league.
There is clearly something wrong with Romo, who usually puts up bigger numbers than this. It could be something with the play calling, the offensive line breaking down, or maybe he is still dealing with injured ribs. The point is that the team isn’t good enough or healthy enough for others to step up and win games. Even Dallas Cowboys Owner/General Manager Jerry Jones commented that Romo has to get better down the stretch.
This upcoming game against the Giants is going to be a huge test for this offense and Romo. They need to get receiver Dez Bryant some open looks and Romo needs to sometimes just force it to his number one play-maker. Only then will this offense get out of this very strange slump.
Romo has done an outstanding job of taking care of the football and limiting turnovers, something his counterpart, Giants quarterback Eli Manning, hasn’t done. But, Romo needs to realize that he is the key for success for this team, they will live and die off his arm. Romo has to get back to his gunslinger mentality and play to win, not to lose. He has to get his confidence back or his team will be sitting out of the playoffs for the fourth straight year. There is too much riding on Romo for him to fail now.