Sunday took another tantalising twist in everybody’s favourite NFL drama, “As The Tony Romo Turns.” From choke artist, to comeback hero, to gutty warrior – all in three weeks! – Romo returned to football goat in week four. And, no, that doesn’t stand for “greatest of all-time.”
Romo led a band of injured and no-name receivers to a 27-3 second-half lead against the undefeated Detroit Lions Sunday.
And that’s when things began to unravel.
First it was a pick-six to former Cowboys linebacker – and Romo’s wedding groomsman – Bobby Carpenter. He followed that with yet another interception returned for a touchdown.
In a matter of minutes, an impressive victory for a soon-to-be division-leading and injury-riddled 3-1 team disappeared faster than Romo’s hide and seek bachelor party participants.
A third interception and Calvin Johnson’s fourth consecutive two-touchdown game later, the Cowboys quarterback sullenly walked off the field and headed into his bye week with two weeks to stew over their .500 record.
“I’m not taking anything away from them, they made a play when they had to,” Romo said after the game. “I shouldn’t have allowed them to have that chance.”
But he did. Again. And again.
This comes just weeks after Romo declared he’d eliminate his fourth quarter risk-taking. At some point, Cowboys fans must resign to the fact that Romo will never change.
The hero one week. The bust the next.
As Grantland’s Bill Barnwell points out, Sunday’s blame can’t all be placed on the Cowboys quarterback. The offence fanned on multiple tackle attempts following the interceptions. The defence also failed to stop Megatron – despite triple coverage at times.
What is clear is that the Cowboys go as Romo goes. And despite another major collapse –the largest in team history – the entire organisation still believes in their quarterback.
“There’s no issue about faith in Romo in any place in this organisation. Period,” said owner Jerry Jones. “We have a lot of faith in Romo.”
“He knows that I believe in him,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Our staff believes in him. His teammates believe in him.”
The team has little doubt in Romo’s will to win – that is apparent. Don’t forget he is still playing with a cracked rib. But the gunslinger is running out of opportunities to lead America’s team to its ultimate destination.
Many people deemed this a make-or-break year for Romo and the Cowboys.
Just one month into the season, Romo has made this team and broken it.
What will he do next?
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