Dumping Jessica Simpson might have been premature. Last year, she shouldered the blame for Tony Romo’s dismal performances. Now there’s nobody to blame but No. 9. And he deserves plenty of blame for yesterday 10-17 loss to the Denver Broncos.
Where’s Romo’s swagger? His devil-may-care smile? His willingness to scramble and gun it deep? The qualities that made Romo great in his first couple of seasons have been squeezed out of him by over-analytical coaches, a harsh news media, impatient fans, and self-doubt. In past years Romo was joking and smiling whenever the camera would shine on him during games. Now he sits on the sidelines and pouts with his head down.
Still, as bad as Romo was, I give him credit for putting the team in a position to win when it counted. Receiver Sam Hurd should have caught one of the end zone passes thrown to him in the closing seconds, which would have tied the game and sent it to overtime.
By the way, I loved the retro grid-design in the end zones at Mile High Stadium, or whatever they’re calling that arena these days. (In 2001, Invesco Funds bought the naming rights but many fans refused to acknowledge the corporate intrusion and they continued calling the stadium Mile High. Even The Denver Post refused to print Invesco Field in its stories for several years but eventually relented.)
Booth commentary from Joe Buck and Troy Aikman was stellar. They’ve become my favorite announcing team, which is remarkable considering Aikman was so terrible at TV and radio commercials early in his career. Remember those gawdawful ACME brick commercials he did back in the day?
Speaking of gawdawful, I am sick of actor Denis Leary’s tough-talking voice-overs on the Ford F-150 truck commercials that get played every 10 minutes during football games.
But back to the game — I called my football fanatic friend from East Texas, Big Jimbo, and he too was giving Romo the stink eye, as well as shooting poison darts in the direction of head coach Wade Phillips:
“Romo’s accuracy has been horrible,” Jimbo said. “To me you judge a QB on three things: decision making, accuracy, and protecting the football. He basically has had one good half the whole year (the second half at Tampa Bay). The defense played well, but then can’t make the stop when they have to, just like against New York. Play calling at the goal line was a little suspect, although the receivers can’t seem to get any separation. The team appears to be lacking intestinal fortitude. I look to the head coach.”
“Bright spot? Matt McBriar is the best punter in the league,” he concluded.
There were other bright spots. Marion Barber was running like his old barbarian self and he fired up the team during the first half. But he sat out most of the second half, and backup runner Tashard Choice couldn’t be Superman two weeks in a row. Keith Brookings made a fantastic fourth-down tackle that gave the ball back to Dallas.
My favorite bright spot had nothing to do with on-field performances. While watching the Cowboys bumble along on TV, I kept looking out my living room windows and seeing a gray, blustery, wet, wintry day. It’s official, the 100 Days Of Hell (otherwise known as Texas summer) are gone. Amen.
My game ball this week goes to Simpson for stoically serving as Romo’s punching bag last year when all along it was the quarterback’s lack of leadership and confidence that was making him tank in big games. Sorry we took it out on you, Jessie girl.
My “Bench The Bum” Award goes to Wade Phillips. Yes, that’s right. Wade should send himself to the showers for his poor performance as a coach.