Tuesday, September 29, 2009

'Boys Will Be 'Boys, If Romo Excels Merely With Fewer Tosses

My inclination each season is to imagine the Dallas Cowboys, getting past unnecessary futility that has suffocated high expectations in the past.

But in a juncture, when it seems Tony Romo isn’t beleaguered with paparazzi snapping endless snapshots of him and ex-girlfriend Jessica Simpson vacationing at a pool party a week before a pivotal playoff game, he might have a better possibility at avoiding a late collapse and advance to the playoffs.

In likelihood, he might presumably have better luck, attaining the big one that he has yet to win. Without an egotistic and psychotic Terrell Owens yelling loudly in his ear for not getting enough touches, there shouldn't be any diversity or rebellious chemistry sabotaging a spacious locker room inside a new colossal stadium, in which owner Jerry Jones nearly invested most of his payroll in.

Simply, Romo is expected to guide the Cowboys away from long-suffering failures, which has done nothing but deflowered mystique and expectations. After all, he’s one of the lovable and scrutinized figures in our country, portrayed more as a celebrity than an actual quarterback.

It’s the most-scrutinized position inside the Cowboys organization, and if the ‘Boys expect to be ‘Boys, they’ll need more consistency from the enigmatic superstar who wears the star logo on his helmet.

He has been granted privileges to guide the Cowboys, and reach expectations instead of underachieving on the big stage. No excuses, his focus level should be at an all-time high, and his gusto should be more instrumental. He, indeed, played with all essential components Monday night, responding to all the critics who have bashed him for underperforming early in the season.

Shockingly, most of the criticism came from former legends that largely had a decisive impact on the Cowboys glorious seasons formerly. Tony Dorsett, Emmitt Smith, and Troy Aikman all took blows at Romo, admitting that he hasn’t done much in the toughest role in the NFL.

Tonight, the flaws weren’t easily discovered or deficiencies weren’t much of a problem. Deemed as one of the top quarterbacks in the league, Romo was well deserving of those remarks responding to all negative bias said this week.

Although it wasn’t a breakout game, finishing the night with no touchdowns, the key point skeptics were watching to point out was Romo’s consistency and smart plays.

From my perspective, he was flawless and played well in the best game yet. As many anticipated, he stayed focus and managed the game, enough to minimized boos from disgruntled fans and increased cheers. For the first time, the Cowboys won at their $1.15 billion stadium after a last-second loss in the home-opener turned disappointing and now is erased out of their minds.

But not all props belong to Romo. Credit the defense for coming up huge, when a convincing Terrence Newman returned an interception to Carolina’s 27 with 5:07 left to secure a 21-7 victory in front of 90,588 fans that were tense until things officially came to a close.

The masses can debate that the Cowboys prevailed off the Panthers miscues, when Jake Delhomme made a few bad tosses and defaulted in another dreadful game, leading the league with seven interceptions.

Romo, of course, was more consistent with making less throws, but was still harassed and pressured. The Panthers defenders never allowed Romo many advantages to escape the pocket with his nifty footwork, and he wasn’t permitted enough time to make perfect throws on each possession.

With more completions and hand-offs, Romo didn’t throw ill-advised passes or committed any interceptions. Unlike before, he was more patient and relaxed, painfully avoiding overthrows and lofting it into traffic. But mostly, he relied on the Cowboys unstoppable and pugnacious running game.

More serious than in previous letdowns, Romo played with more sense rather than inanely surrendering or giving away one. They could’ve easily seen a 0-3 deficit to start the season, of which Romo would’ve had to take in more heat. But now, he is sighing relief and relinquished jitters that encouraged him to increase productivity.

In Week Three, I think fans weren’t concerned with Romo completing touchdown passes. They were more concerned with his consistency, as he managed holding on to a comfortable lead. Romo finished with more suitable results, and was 22 of 33 for 235 yards, finding reliable tight end Jason Witten, who had nine catches for 77 yards.

Goodness, all the weapons Romo had. He was surrounded with a sturdy rushing attack, such as Felix Jones rushing for 94 yards on eight carries before leaving with a strained left knee in the third quarter. But Tashard Choice ran faster than anyone else on this giving night.

Without an ailing Marion Barber, who is nursing a bruised thigh, Romo handed the ball to a stellar and hasty Choice. He was solid finishing the night with 82 yards on 18 carries, including a touchdown and caught four passes off Romo’s intelligent reaction to disbelievers. But the key play came when Newman stepped in front and cut off a pass intended to Steve Smith and raced to the end zone diving in.

Even though he’s merely a celebrity bust in most people’s minds, the Cowboys are still convincing—if Romo can manage to accumulate victories and doesn’t derail in the playoffs. Even if he doesn’t loft it deep, he has strong depth to relay on, which is helpful for forcing opposing defenses to focus strongly on an indomitable ground game.

The remaining unanswered questions—can the Cowboys win in December? And can Romo win his first playoff game—are queries that should last until the month’s approaches. Around then, games are meaningful, and Romo’s consistency is counted on.

His resume displays he can’t win big games—sudden death games specifically—which usually results in mindless gaffes. He’s 5-10 lifetime in December and January combined, failing to capitalize in critical moments and relapses in bad timing.

With a strong running game, Romo prevailed, too. If it continues, expect ‘Boys to be ‘Boys.