Watching the Dallas Cowboys systematically beat down the best efforts of the New York Giants Sunday, it was apparent that we are witnessing some special play from the quarterback position. Tony Romo has been elite throughout his career, but he’s playing the best football of his life these last few weeks.
Romo has always had unique playmaking ability. In order for his team to win in the Jason Garrett Era, his team has asked him to display that unique ability nearly every down. As a result, we’ve seen some amazing plays over the years, and some heartbreaking misses.
Many have attributed those misses to Romo being a “choker.” More likely, the NFL is just hard, and any player who is asked to be Superman on every play is going to win some and lose some.
Now armed with the best running game in the league and a defense that can make a stop, we’re seeing just how good Romo can be. Running back DeMarco Murray is pounding through holes blasted in the defense by what many consider to be the league’s finest offensive line. A much maligned defense is doing it’s part to get off the field on third down and generate turnovers. And in a tense and contested game yesterday, one in which the Cowboys would ultimately win 31-21, Romo did not have an incompletion in the second half. He was perfect.
How? His team only asked him to throw it nine times in the last two frames. He nailed all nine throws. Nine-for nine for 167 yards and a touchdown. On third down he was 3-for-3 for 75 yards and two first downs.
It sounds like hyperbole, but when all the team asks of Romo is to do his job, he’s literally infallible. Check out his passing chart from the second half yesterday:
[table id=67 /]
Former scout and NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah broke down some film of yesterday’s win and came to the conclusion that Romo is playing “a clean brand of football right now.”
"“Those hiccups we’ve come to see from Tony Romo, not seeing them so much this year… Knowing when to check the ball down, knowing when to live to play another down – I think that’s championship quarterback play and I think this the best we’ve seen from Tony Romo.”"
That’s right, Daniel. That’s championship quarterback play. Why? Because football teams win football championships. And when the quarterback can rely on the rest of his team to do their jobs, he can relax and just do his.
Wow. This is the Romo we get when we don’t ask him to do too much. Even with a pregame shot of toradol to take away the pain in his ribs and ankle, the guy is perfect.
Yeah, I know that’s a bit strong, but so is a quarterback rating of 110 or better in four of the past five games. Romo has averaged just 29 pass attempts per game during that span. Give the guy a running game and a respectable defense, and he’ll pick apart any defense in the league.
Injuries and turnovers will have their say like they always do, but these Cowboys can make some noise this year.