As the Cowboys took a 24-10 lead on the NY Jets at the start of the fourth quarter last night all seemed good in the world. After that the world came crashing down as the Cowboys were outscored 17-0 by the Jets and lost 27-24. I understand it’s the first game of the season and I understand that sometimes things like this happen. But Tony Romo has made a habit of making bad decisions at important times during games.
We can start with Romo’s decision to dive short of the goal line on 3rd down when the Cowboys were ahead 24-17 and about nine minutes left in the game. Romo fumbled and the Cowboys came away with no points. I understand he wanted a touchdown on that play, but better decisions need to be made. If nothing was there for him then simply throw it out of the end zone. Then attempt a short field goal, which if made would have put them up by ten points, 27-17. As the quarterback smart decisions need to be made in that situation. Sure as a fan and a writer I can sit here and say what I thought he should have done, but it has been too often in his career that Romo has made bad decisions that have put his team in bad situations.
Lets move to when the score was tied 24-24. The Cowboys were sitting at their own 41 yard line with 59 seconds left to play. Plenty of time to position themselves for a game winning field goal attempt. On first down Romo rolls to his right and throws a pass right at Darrelle Revis who easily intercepts the pass in front of Dez Bryant. That of course led to Nick Folk kicking the game winning field goal for the Jets. What would make Romo decide to throw that pass? He must have seen Revis standing there. It wasn’t like Revis made a great play or stepped in front of Bryant. It’s just another example of a bad decision that has plagued Romo for just about his whole career.
I will also add this while I’m at it. Regarding the touchdown pass from Romo to Miles Austin. Let’s be honest! It was a pass that went directly to Antonio Cromartie. If it wasn’t for Austin ripping the ball away from Cromartie it would have been an interception for a touchback.
Tony Romo has had many good games since becoming the Cowboys starting quarterback in 2006, but far too often he has shown that he is careless with the football at crucial times and ends up hurting the team. I’m not going to write that he doesn’t care about winning because I’m sure he does. He’s not out there working hard every day because he has nothing better to do. He is out there because he loves the game and wants to win. He needs to be smarter and make better decisions at important times during games.
Elite quarterbacks make good decisions that put their teams in a position to win games. They are not careless with the football. Maybe Romo is all he can be at quarterback. Maybe he is at the highest level he can achieve. But how long should the Cowboys stay patient and wait to see if there another level of play? Does Tony Romo have a championship level like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or Ben Roethlisberger? As a fan it’s beyond frustrating and it’s at a point where you are not waiting to see if Romo makes a bad decision, but wondering when Romo will make a bad decision that will hurt his team again.