What if the Dallas Cowboys were the team one yard away from a Super Bowl ring and Tony Romo tossed the exact same ill-advised pass that Russell Wilson threw? What if it was Romo’s poor pass that lost the game and the Lombardi Trophy for his team?
Just imagine the heat the polarizing starting quarterback of America’s Team would have taken for such an egregious act.
Romo would have been lambasted in the media. The Romo-hating faction of Cowboys Nation would have hung him out to dry. Sports talk radio in Dallas and around the country would have had a Romo roast-a-thon.
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Sure, there would have been plenty of people questioning Jason Garrett just as they are vilifying Pete Carroll today for sending in a pass play in that crucial situation. But the Monday morning headlines would have read “Romo Chokes Again” if that same play would have involved Dallas.
Why has Russell Wilson been given a free-pass for his gift to New England Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler? I am sure Wilson had some other options on that play, including throwing the ball away if his receiver was not wide open or just tucking the ball away and running towards the promise land on his own.
Why is Wilson’s poor decision to thread the needle in that critical spot not a top radio talk show topic today?
Remember that feeling in your gut after the Cowboys lost to the Green Bay Packers a few weeks back? Just imagine how you would have felt if that was Dallas throwing away a Championship like Seattle did Sunday night.
That thought is what makes me even more sick that Dallas was not in Super Bowl XLIX. Dallas would have matched up well with the Patriots on Sunday. They would also have had trouble holding Tom Brady in check, but I am confident the Cowboy offense would have gashed the Patriots defense for more than the 24 Seattle was able to muster up.
Russell Wilson surely feels like crap today and he should. He took way too long to release his pass to Ricardo Lockette. He looked right at his intended receiver as soon as the ball was in his hands (allowing Butler to get that incredible jump). It also didn’t help that Wilson threw the pass too high and out in front of Lockette.
Had Wilson quickly released a more accurate pass, the city of Seattle is hosting another Super Bowl parade today.
Where is the national scorn for Russell Wilson after such a super mistake? Why would a similar gaffe by Romo produce an avalanche of hate and national criticism?
Because Romo plays for the most polarizing and highest profile franchise in football and Wilson plays in Seattle. In Seattle, there are no Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks to play in the shadow of. The Seahawks All-time passing leader is Matt Hasselbeck. That’s right, Matt Hasselbeck. After just three seasons, the 26 year old Wilson is already the most decorated quarterback in Seattle history.
In nine very productive years as the starting quarterback for Dallas, Romo may have the most passing yards and touchdown passes in Cowboys history, but the veteran un-drafted free agent would still be considered by most to be only the third best quarterback to play for Dallas, falling in line behind hall-of-famers Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.
Only a Super Bowl ring will get Romo a seat at that All-time great table.
I am just thankful that it wasn’t Romo throwing that same crushing pick on Sunday. The folks in Bristol Connecticut, as well as many in Cowboys Nation would have never let him hear the end of it.
Let’s hope that this time next year we are talking about what a great call Garrett made to have Romo hand the ball off to Murray to seal the Super Bowl 50 victory.