When folks look at the box score of the Dallas Cowboys‘ 29-24 loss to the New York Giants in Week 8, they’ll notice four interceptions thrown by Tony Romo and probably just stop reading right there. Yes, Romo was pretty bad except for his 18 completions to Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (and NFL record), but you have to look a little bit deeper than that. Romo is a problem, but Dallas head coach and offensive play-caller Jason Garrett is a bigger problem.
Notice Garrett’s second title is “offensive play-caller” and not “offensive coordinator.” That’s a part of the Cowboys’ biggest problem, team owner and general manager Jerry Jones, but we don’t have time to get into that right now.
Romo threw the ball 62 times against the Giants. 62. In case you missed a recent Rant about Garrett’s play-calling, here’s a stat for you: the Cowboys are now 0-7 when Garrett calls 40 or more passing plays. Maybe he read that Rant and then after he hit 40 passes against New York just thought, ‘Well, the heck with it. We’re already screwed so I’ll just pass from here on out.’ Man, that Princeton education sure is coming in handy.
Garrett must have Cowboys receivers Dez Bryant and Miles Austin and Witten on his fantasy football team. His team keeps losing, but those players keep putting up solid stat lines; all three of them had over 100 receiving yards against the Giants. That’s the only explanation (although it’s not logical) for Garrett’s moronic play-calling.
During the loss to New York, Garrett called pass plays on four different third down plays with less than three yards to gain for the first. On Dallas’ second-to-last drive, Garrett also called a pass play on fourth-and-one directly after Romo threw an incompletion on the play before (third-and-one). The result of Romo’s 54th pass attempt on that fourth down play? You guessed — his fourth interception.
Romo was so bipolar as a passer against the Giants that it’s impossible to describe his performance. He was absolutely awful for most of the game, but had a few nice plays, like his short, safe, smart passes to Witten on the 10-yard out that he had copyrighted by the end of the contest. However, all of Romo’s interceptions were extremely bad decisions on his part. It can be argued that the first was Bryant’s fault, but that’s pointless now.
However, the bigger problem was the fact Romo threw the ball 62 times and that’s falls directly on Garrett’s shoulders. Of the Cowboys’ last 29 offensive plays in the game, 27 were passes. The stupidity of that statistic literally cannot be put into words. The worst part? Dallas was leading for the first time with less than a minute left in the third quarter when Garrett called there straight pass plays that resulted in a three-and-out for the Cowboys. You’ll never guess what happened next: New York took the lead for good. Shocking, I know.
Garrett needs to be fired ASAP. The Cowboys are the most penalized team in the NFL, he is the worst play-caller in football, his players don’t respect him and his clock-management skills resemble that of a third-string jayvee quarterback who has never played a down in his life, including video games. The Cowboys are toast as long as Garrett remains the head coach. However, they’re toast as long as Jones is the GM. Don’t count on anything positive, though; this is the guy who said the Cowboys were a Super Bowl contender a week ago. #RML…