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Tony Romo Gives Game Away Against Jets

by Photo of Andrew Lontos

Romo comes up short again with the game on the line.

Tony Romo Gives Game Away Against Jets

There were many reasons that the Dallas Cowboys lost to the New York Jets 27-24 last night, but Tony Romo's brutal fourth quarter play was the biggest. And he knows it.

Via Pro Football Talk:

“We win that football game if I don’t do what I did. We lost this game because of me,” Romo said.

Romo's numbers look good: 23/36 342 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT. But as is so often the case with Dallas' quarterback, his gaudy statistics don't translate into victories. He's very much like Matt Schaub, who has thrown for 4,000 yards each of the last two seasons but has never reached the playoffs. Romo has been in the postseason three times, but has only one more playoff win than Schaub in his career. The better comparison, however, is probably with Brett Favre. Save for the fact that Favre would never take sole responsibility for a loss, or that he's into brunettes and Romo likes blondes, there are many similarities between the two. Despite their undeniable talent, their "mutual playmaking mentality" absolutely kills their teams when the game is on the line.

In times like last night's fourth quarter, the Cowboys didn't need a playmaker, they needed a game manager.

Via Grantland: 

When Felix Jones ran the ball in from a yard out with 14:50 left in the fourth quarter, it gave the Cowboys a 24-10 lead and a win probability of 96 percent. Ninety-six percent! A Jets touchdown brought those odds down a bit, but as Tony Romo took the snap on third-and-goal from the two-yard line with a one-score lead and 9:15 left, the Cowboys were still at 94 percent. And even after the two teams traded turnovers, the Cowboys were still at a win probability of 95 percent during the third-and-long that immediately preceded the game-tying blocked punt.

Romo's 64 yard pass to Jason Witten set up first-and-goal on the three-yard line with the Cowboy's already up a touchdown and 10 minutes to go. With their win probability at 94%, priority number one needed to be to hold onto the football. Of course, Romo turned it over with a careless fumble. A touchdown there would have been great; a chip-shot field goal would have been fine too. But to come away with no points and lose all momentum when the Jets were on their heels is unacceptable. This is Romo in a nutshell. He makes a great play to put the Cowboys in prime position for victory, only to stumble at the finish line and come up short. The worst part of his performance, however, was what followed. With the game tied with 59 seconds remaining and Dallas starting on their own 41 yard line, Romo was a couple passes away from setting up a game-winning field goal attempt. But on the very first play of the drive, he threw an awful pass intended for Dez Bryant that Darrelle Revis easily intercepted and returned to the Dallas 34. Revis is a stud who stayed nicely on (a hobbled) Bryant, but any corner would have made the play. It was another inexcusable play by Romo during the worst possible time. The interception set up the Jets, who only gained two yards before Nick Folk hit the game-winning 50-yard field goal.

The interception was reminiscent of Favre's against the Saints in the 2010 NFC Championship Game. Tie game. Under a minute to go. Ball around midfield, team in great position to kick winning field goal. Quarterback throws predictable, horrendous interception. Opposing team wins via field goal. 

Unfortunately for Cowboys' fans, Romo and Favre have much more in common than their Wisconsin roots and well-publicized sex life.

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