ST. LOUIS - OCTOBER 19: Head Coach Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys looks on from the sideline during their NFL game against the St. Louis Rams at Edward Jones Dome on October 19, 2008 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams defeated the Cowboys 34-14. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Wade Phillips' pre-practice press conference on Friday was more than a little predictable, as the ballcoach took time to assert once more his faith in Tony Romo.
Toeing the company line, Phillips said he believes that Romo will bounce back from Sunday night's loss, and offered an array of predictable (and in some cases, right) statements concerning the week two, interdivision game that many from around the country have built up to be the end of the season, and life as the Dallas Cowboys know it.
"We didn't have the best game, and we're going to go from there, and that's where we are," Phillips said, coming dangerously close to incendiary. "We expect him to do great every game, and he expects that. I think he'll come back from it."
Fair point. But Phillips continued, saying that (gasp!) perceptions of Romo may have been changed slightly had Dallas' defense stepped up in the fourth quarter.
"They're not going to have a star performance every game and like I said before, even though he had that kind of game, we went 80 yard on that last drive, the last time he had the ball, for a touchdown, to move ahead in the game," Phillips said. "I think he even bounced back in that game, I just don't think people saw it, you know, because we lost. I think if we'd have won the game, if we stop them defensively, they'd say, 'well, Tony had a bad game but it was like Buffalo, we came back and won at the end of the game. So you can look at it a little different, too."
This is all at once the height of the glass-half-full approach, abundantly obvious and, actually, a kind of decent point. Of course perceptions would change based on whether or not Dallas came away with the win; that much is painfully clear.
But one should remember that last drive, if only because, judging by numerous columnists around the country, you'd think Romo was worse than Brad Johnson circa 2008, or Jake Delhomme, circa week 1.
Romo was bad, inasmuch as he threw three interceptions and lost, but even in this utterly poor performance, Romo gave Dallas a chance to win in the waning minutes; there's something to be said for that.
Namely, anyone who thinks Romo should, or could, ever be benched for Jon Kitna is a thoughtless cur on the level of a Jerry Springer panel member.