EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 06: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys throws a pass in the first quarter against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium on December 6, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
With Sunday's loss in East Rutherford, the Dallas Cowboys are 5-11 under Tony Romo in December and beyond. This statistic will inevitably be flashed across the screen at some point of next week's game against the lately-hot San Diego Chargers, and held aloft by 'Boys-haters nationwide. Fans of the blue and silver will wince, and very possibly throw beer cans at the screen.
It will be suggestive of the Cowboys' late-season struggles of recent, and, being the quarterback, Romo in particular. In the past, such statistical scrutiny would have been justified; Romo, very simply, hasn't been good in December, historically.
Sunday, it's safe to say, was an exception to this hitherto firm rule.
Romo went for career highs in attempts (55) completions (41) and passing yards (392). To this, he added three touchdowns and no interceptions. It was a Brees-esque performance (actually, Romo performed better against New York yesterday than Brees did against Washington), one that saw just one glaring misstep.
Okay, that one misstep could have been a game-changer: Romo overthrew Roy Williams on what would have been an easy, walk-in touchdown with four minutes left in the game, after the cornerback fell down in coverage. Afterward, Romo said he regretted the throw immediately as he left his hand. Ditto for most fans. But Romo, in this instance, may be vindicated.
The 29-year-old gave his team a chance to win; big plays and mistakes in the second half (not the most egregious of which was Romo's) ensured this effort was in vain. This analysis, of course, won't matter much if the Cowboys can't right the ship against a woefully difficult schedule from here on and improve on that damning 5-11 record.
"You always think you can do better," Romo said after the game. "There's always stuff that you look at and you want back. That's the only way for the team to continue to improve, is for everybody to look at themselves and figure out what they can do extra or better to help this team win next week."