It's Time We Give Tony Romo His Due
By Kenny Decker
506 passing yards on 25-of-36 attempts, five touchdowns … and one interception. Sigh. He had it. He had gone blow-for-blow with probably the greatest regular-season quarterback of all time. He had his team in a position to knock off the undefeated and previously untouchable Denver Broncos.
In probably his best single game and one of the best we’ve seen in the past few years in the NFL, Tony Romo had Cowboys fans smiling and all NFL fans on the edge of their seats, making one nice play after another. But, this incredible performance by Romo will be remembered by one throw: the one he threw off balance to a covered Gavin Escobar that was picked off by Danny Trevathan with under three minutes remaining. It’s ridiculously unfair, but it’s part of playing quarterback, and its part of playing for the Dallas Cowboys.
All things considered, Romo is having one of his best seasons so far. He ranks fourth in the NFC in passing yards, first in completion percentage, first in touchdowns, first in passer rating and is tied for the fewest interceptions thrown with just two. He’s leading an offense that’s averaging over 30 points per game, which leads the NFC. Despite all this, the Cowboys are just 2-3 — good enough to be tied for first in the disastrous NFC East, but still not what you would expect if your quarterback is putting up numbers like Romo is.
So where does this put Romo amongst all the NFC quarterbacks this year? Well, the stats speak for themselves. He’s leading in almost all major passing categories, and if you have watched Romo play this season, you would have seen him make some really incredible plays to avoid sacks. But you would have to put him behind Drew Brees: he ranks first in the NFC in passing yards and second behind Romo in completion percentage, touchdowns and passer rating. But most importantly, his New Orleans Saints are 5-0. So, Romo is behind only Brees in terms of NFC quarterback play so far in this young season.
Romo has played some of his best football and the Cowboys are only 2-3. Romo will continue to play well going forward with weak pass defenses coming up the next several weeks. But this week shows more than anything else that no matter how well Romo is playing, the defense needs to play better. Who would have thought that Romo would throw for 506 yards and five touchdowns and lead the offense to score 48 points in a loss? Yes, it was the Denver Broncos, but 51 points is too many. And it wasn’t just this week that the defense has struggled. So Romo will have to continue carrying this team until the defense figures out how to use the talent that they have.