Yesterday, was one of the most exciting and best games I have ever seen Tony Romo play. Romo was unstoppable, brilliant, cocky, a “gunslinger”, and all in all a bad mutha!
He had five touchdowns and threw for over 500 yards, 506 to be exact, making him only the fifth quarterback in NFL history with 500 yards passing and five touchdown passes in a game. Romo was better than Peyton Manning who threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns, but the final score didn’t reflect that. Both quarterbacks threw one interception apiece, but Romo’s interception was the interception heard ’round the world or at least the NFL.
The old cliché a “game for the ages” is an understatement as Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys took on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in front of 90,000 plus screaming fans at AT&T Stadium. One commentator for CBS Sports said during the game he had been to AT&T Stadium, formerly Cowboy Stadium, and had “never heard it that loud”.
It was the fourth highest scoring game, 51-48, in NFL history with the viewership going through the roof. According to Barry Horn, a sports media columnist, this game scored the highest overnight rating of the NFL season in 56 major markets across the country. The 18.6 rating was the highest overnight of any type of television programming since the Academy Awards back in February of this year which scored a 26.1 rating.
Romo couldn’t miss on Sunday. His passes were works of art, laser sharp, precise, and no matter where he threw them, they landed in the hands of a Cowboys receiver like the rookie Terrance Williams who had a beautiful 82 yard catch for a touchdown in the third quarter and the four-yard catch by Cole Beasley in the fourth quarter.
It was like Romo was letting Peyton Manning know, “Anything you can do I can do better.” For every touchdown Manning threw, Romo would match him tit for tat including hitting different receivers for either big gains or touchdowns. It was a thing of beauty to see Romo spreading the wealth to so many receivers. Williams had 4 catches for 151 yards and one touchdown. Dez Bryant caught six passes for 141 yards, two touchdowns and a very costly fumble. With each Romo touchdown pass, I’m sure Cowboy fans felt like the ‘Boys were going to walk away with the upset and that Romo, not Manning, would be the man of the hour. But in the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”
For every touchdown that Romo threw the defense gave up a touchdown or enough yards to put the Broncos in field goal range. With the Cowboys offense playing to win, the defense seemed be on another page, and whatever page that was, it wasn’t working.
So far this season, the Cowboys defense has been up and down and is ranked 30th overall. Only Denver and Philadelphia have worse defenses than the Cowboys, and the passing is dismal. Dallas’ pass defense is ranked 31st, but there is a small bright spot. Against the run, they are ranked 8th. So maybe the solution to our defensive woes are to play teams who solely run the ball?
Even though Dallas beat the Giants, Victor Cruz still had five catches for 118 yards and three touchdowns. A few weeks later, Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers had ten catches for 136 yards and one touchdown. Do you see a pattern here? The defense of the Cowboys has had some bright spots against offenses like the Chiefs and the Rams, but all in all this defense needs to go back to the drawing board and figure out a way to stop the pass. If not, it’s going to be another long and mediocre season for the Cowboys and their fans.
As far as Romo, from ESPN stats and information, his one interception on Sunday was the 23rd fourth-quarter interception of his career. The Cowboys have lost each of the last eight games in which Romo has thrown a fourth-quarter interception, with six of those eight losses coming by seven points or less. Romo has got to find a way to quit being “Tony Romo” in the fourth quarter and get the job done!