If you just look at the box score, you would think Tony Romo had one of his best games as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. But, of course, the box score doesn’t always tell the whole story. Once again, Romo piled up the statistics, only to find a way to lose the game in spectacular fashion at the end.
Romo has made a career out of looking good when the game isn’t on the line. He’s at his best when the pressure is off, and he can throw the ball around the field. This Sunday, he was at his video game-best, on his way to out-dueling Peyton Manning and the high-flying Denver Broncos offense. He racked up over 500 yards passing and five touchdowns late into the fourth quarter. Even more impressively, he had yet to throw an interception.
That all changed when the game was on the line, of course. When Romo had the ball in his hands and a chance to lead a game-winning drive, he did what he always does and panicked, throwing the ball right into the hands of a waiting defender.
The Cowboys have a great opportunity this year to win a weak division. The New York Giants haven’t tasted victory yet, the Washington Redskins have looked out-of-sync all year and the Philadelphia Eagles try their best to lose every game they’re in. If Dallas can find a way to not beat themselves, they would be the favorites to run away with the NFC East this year.
Unfortunately, Romo and the Cowboys once again found a way to beat themselves. They were on their way to the biggest win of their season — a win that would have catapulted them to the top of the NFL Power Rankings. Instead, Romo choked with the game on the line.
I normally don’t like to think of any player as a choker. Sometimes players just have bad luck and make poor plays late in games. It’s usually not because they can’t handle the pressure, but it’s just bad luck that those plays come at those moments in the game. I don’t know that I can continue to talk myself into that case for Romo anymore.
The Cowboys are still the favorite to win the division this season, but I can’t help but feel like they will once again find a way to beat themselves when it counts.
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