When looking for a place to lay the blame for the Cowboys loss on Sunday, don't look anywhere near Tony Romo. Richie Whitt and Pat Doney explain.
10. Some saw another Cowboys’ loss. Others of us witnessed the highest-scoring and one of the most entertaining, historic games in the 53-year history of the franchise. No Cowboys’ quarterback has ever thrown for more than Tony Romo’s 506 yards and the combined 99 points are the most ever in a Cowboys’ game. No, you didn’t see a win, and that sucks. But you were treated to a game they’ll be talking about for decades. And that’s not a bad consolation prize.
9. With this Cowboys’ loss the NFC Least is now 1-8 against the AFC West. Only win? Redskins over Raiders. Yikes.
8. The Cowboys are the first team to score 48 points and lose an NFL game since 1983. Yes, it was that type of epic doomsday in Arlington.
7. Fact is, Romo was better than Peyton Manning. More yards (506-414). More touchdowns (5-4). Same amount of interceptions (1-1). Said Romo, “It’s about winning and losing, and as a quarterback, you know that.”
If only life were black-and-white. But it’s not. There are shades of gray in everything we do. Peyton was great. Romo was great. No other way to view it.
6. Good for Morris Claiborne. Lambasted after a horrible game in San Diego, he responded with a fumble recovery and an interception – the only one this season on Manning. Afterward, Claiborne asked for the ball as keepsake and I don’t blame him one bit. Might be as rare as Barry Bonds’ historic homer by the end of the season.
5. The Cowboys’ defense without Anthony Spencer’s rush is kinda like the Rangers’ offense without Nelson Cruz’ bat. Good enough to beat bad teams. Exposed against the good ones.
4. Think of it this way: Romo was a pitcher locked all day in a 0-0 duel. He had a no-hitter into the 9th, then allowed a two-out, two-strike home run in a 1-0 loss. His team, of course, wouldn’t have been in position to win without him. And his teammates shoulder some responsibility for not doing their part. It would be nonsensical to fault Romo the pitcher. Just as it is to fault Romo the quarterback.
3. Manning is so efficient and accurate he’s like the old Tecmo Bowl video game. But as good as his passes were - admit it – you were faked out by his naked bootleg for a touchdown. I know I was. And I’m damn sure DeMarcus Ware was.
2. Tactical error by head coach Jason Garrett in the final two minutes. I know it goes against every fiber of your football DNA to do so, but you’ve got to let the Broncos score immediately. If you do, you get the ball back needing a touchdown to force overtime, but you’ve got about 1:45 and three timeouts to do so. The alternative – the choice Dallas took – is to hope the Broncos miss a 28-yard field goal with :02 remaining. Admitted Garrett, “Yeah, we thought about that.” Should’ve thought harder.
1. If you’re blaming Romo for this loss, you’re an irrational, shallow thinker with a limited knowledge of sports in general and the NFL in specific. Without his record-setting performance the Cowboys would have been blown out by 21+ points. If you expected him to throw for 506 yards and 5 touchdowns and not make a single mistake, may I suggest your expectations are a tad high. Reminder: Peyton also threw a pick today. Tony Romo was almost perfect Sunday. And that was his lone fault.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.