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Fans Need to Give Romo and Young Team More Slack

Let me first start off by saying that the Dallas Cowboys proudly stake claim to the most loyal and passionate fan base in all of sports.  No team’s fans can sniff the enthusiasm that Dallas Cowboys fans have, and that reigns true throughout the entire country.  But lately, I have become a bit agitated with our fans and the things I have heard them say about this team.

“Trade Tony Romo.”  ”Fire Jason Garrett.”  ”(Somehow) get rid of Jerry and Stephen Jones.”  These are some of the solutions I have heard lately from fans who are inherently intolerant of a young, talented, inexperienced football team.

Tony Romo has made some inexcusable mistakes in the first five weeks, and that’s a fair criticism.  But before we go shipping him off to another team for peanuts and give Stephen McGee the keys to the offense, let’s consider a few things here.

Over the course of five weeks, Romo has had a nearly non-existent running game.  Both Dez Bryant and Miles Austin have missed games.  At one point, his starting receivers were Jesse Holley, Laurent Robinson, and Kevin Ogletree.  Prior to the bye week, he was playing with broken ribs and a punctured lung.  The average age of his starting offensive line is twenty-five, and three of those starters have been rookies.

All that being said, if you would have told me that the Cowboys would be 2-2 heading into their bye week, with the two losses by a grand total of seven points, I would’ve taken it in a second.

Now I challenge anyone to find any quarterback in the league not named Brady, Manning, Brees, or Rodgers that could have done a better job quarterbacking the Dallas Cowboys given those sets of circumstances.  The mental errors Tony Romo makes are correctable, unlike athleticism or talent, which he has.

Fans have to understand that this is a young team.  Any time you release the amount of underachieving veterans that the Cowboys did in the offseason and replace them with younger, inexperienced players, you will undoubtedly experience growing pains.  The same thing happened in 1990 under Jimmy Johnson.

Fans also have to remember that the Cowboys are astronomically magnified by the local and national media more so than any other NFL franchise.  Tony Romo throws thee interceptions, two of them pick-sixes, to help the Lions come back and win, and he’s absolutely thrashed by the media for two weeks.  Yet the next week, Eli Manning throws three interceptions, Michael Vick throws four interceptions, both the Giants and Eagles lose, and neither quarterback is administered comparable treatment.  Yesterday, Rex Grossman threw four interceptions to help the Redskins lose, and almost no attention has been given to his inability to play quarterback.  That’s even after a certain familiar analyst (Deion Sanders) proclaimed Rex Grossman as the best quarterback in the NFC East.  Shouldn’t he get comparable treatment to Romo if that’s the case?

Have some patience with this team.  They are two or three plays away from being 4-1 or even 5-0.  The teams they have lost to (Jets, Lions, Patriots) are pretty good.

The last ten games the Cowboys have played have been decided by four points or less.  To me, that means this team is grinding the ax and trying to find ways to win close games.  That’s a good thing.

I’ll take a team whose last ten contests have come down to the very last drive, win or lose, compared to a team that exerts no effort, like the one we saw during Wade Phillips’s last moments as head coach.

 

Comments
  1. Rob V.

    When it comes to Romo I’ve given him enough slack. I was first in line as far as being a fan in his first few seasons. He was a breathe of fresh air after Bledsoe, Testaverde, Carter, Hutchinson, Henson. But after four and a half seasons I’m tired of the same things he does. He is not improving in my opinion. He is always saying he needs to improve and he will improve, but he never does. He is like a broken record. I for one am tired of it. I see this team as 8-8, maybe 9-7. And if Jones keeps talking about Garretts play calling you can bet that he will fire Garrett at the end of the season and promote Rob Ryan. Just watch it happen.

    • Derek Sanders

      ESPN and the local Dallas beat writers making a huge deal about a few things they think Jones might have meant (he never actually said anything critical) is a case-in-point example of everything getting magnified to the highest degree. Saw no problem with it, Garrett saw no problem with it, non-issue just as much as the Harbaugh/Schwartz handshake was.

      As for Romo, he’ll continue to get better as the season goes on, and I have the utmost confidence in his abilities. Not sure why anyone would want to get rid of him and go back to the revolving Testaverde/Carter/Henson/Bledsoe door of quarterbacks again.

  2. Rob V.

    Jones is not a stupid man. He was being critical without actually coming out and being critical of his head coach. And Garrett knows it. What was Garrett supposed to say? That it did bother him? Jones basically told Garrett that he needs to get better.
    As far as Romo improving, what makes this year different from his other years? He’ll have the same Romo season as always. Yes, Romo is the best QB on the team. But I don’t think the next Super Bowl QB for the Cowboys is currently on their roster.

  3. Tom

    Good article, all true and fair points. Here’s the thing. Being a fan since I was in single digits, I’ve seen this team at the top, bottom and in between. Cowboys fans are for the most part, corporate. If you’re winning, things are as they should be. That’s one of the reasons fans of other teams hate us so much and mock us. I was standing on a bus at Disney listening to Bears fans talk about the Cowboys a few years back. They said that we’re fans when things are good and abandon our team and players the moment things are tough, even a little. All I could do was listen and silently nod with just a touch of shame.

    Our “loyal” fan base isn’t when it comes to a player. “Fire Garrett! Trade Romo, then it’ll be better!” That’s the answer anyone has, with no regard for what comes next.

    Basically it falls to the owner and the team itself to right the ship. Yes, it’s a young team, but time is not on the Cowboys’ side. The fan base doesn’t allow for “time.” Logic doesn’t count. I can be critical as a fan, all I want to be, I think I’m being pragmatic when I say I see talent and potential. The way the NFL is, there’s no time for potential. I constantly get into conversations with people when they say, “Romo hasn’t won anything.” When I counter, “Neither has Philip Rivers or Vick, or Dan Marino for that matter. They don’t get near the flak Romo gets.”

    The bottom line is, that the team is underachiving. Again. It’s easy to blame Romo because he stands behind center. He can’t win it by himself. Staubach and Aikman couldn’t have had success alone, but you can’t tell that to people. I for one don’t want to get on the carousel anymore, at least not yet. We have no running game. We haven’t since Emmitt was released, in truth. We have one wide out. Austin is the best on the team, period. Bryant is still blinded by stardom and money and Romo simply doesn’t trust him, especially in the second half of games, to run the right route. He simply stopped on his route when Romo threw this lone pick of the game. It was obvious he didn’t finish. It’s the defense that is shining, because they have real playmakers FINALLY in the right system and a lot of support guys who are made better because Ryan made their jobs simple.

    It’s still a long season, but if the line doesn’t get better in a hurry and the running game doesn’t improve, it won’t matter what the defense does or how many times Romo drops back because we’ll be one dimensional and teams can sit back on their haunches and wait for Romo to throw his 40th pass. Eventually he’s going to throw a pick. It’s not due to lack of talent, it’s averages. And matters aren’t made better when your “star” receiver stops running because he doesn’t know where to go or how to break NFL coverages yet.

    I’m going to breathe now…. LOL :)

  4. daboys

    Excellent post by Derek Sanders! And Tom your statements about the lack of a running game, Bryant, and the law of averages are excellent as well.

    I see Romo having to line up receivers (Bryant Ogletree, Choice) and backs at the line of scrimmage every week. I can see where he should have to to that for Laurent Robinson who was just signed a few weeks ago, but these other guys have been here a couple of years now. They should be prepared and know where to line up. This is when Romo needs to be looking at what the the Defense is bringing.

    Yes, Dallas could easily be 5 and 0, but could also be 0 and 5 had it not been for Romo fractured rib and all.

    I do think the Boys need to improve in the Red zone. Need TD’s and not field goals. Penalties being the culprit here. Where you have 3 and goal from the 20 yard line.

    Not all Romo’s fault.

  5. Cowboy 44 yr Lifer

    There are only a couple QB’s I’d take over Romo – There are a lot of Head Coaches and or off. corr. I take over Garret. All QB’s throw INT’s, part of the game – Romo lower than average most years. Look at the games they lost from a coaches point of view – Garret is terrible in game ending play calling – 1/2 of Romos INT are gone if Garret called better plays. Up big on the Jets — so we pass. Up big on the Loins – run & punt Situation – need run practict anyway — Nope we pass. And not a new play – no a tight timing play they called earlier multiple times. Now that Pats – defiantly not a run& punt with this team — you have to Pass to keep Brady off the field — Nope run&punt. And then the spineless weasel never takes the blame – “Coaches coach – Player Play” – tell that to the 49ers, Loins, or Pats.