Monday, October 29, 2012

Whose Fault Now, Cowboys? Tony Romo, No Doubt

A person can only give Tony Romo the benefit of the doubt for so long. By now, we are long past extending our sympathy to an unskilled player who is not reaching standards with a demanding, heavy scrutinized franchise, as we should be with a man who continues to make the same mistakes and not learn from his boo-boos.

Romo is playing for the wrong team, an organization not committed to failure and instead perfection. But we never see perfection from Romo, and if Cowboys’ fans happen to witness a paragon of excellence, it’s never during a critical time in the game. That’s usually when he blows it. Late in the game.

When he’s under pressure and needs to make a statement, Romo chokes on damn applesauce. The worst he’s ever choked on was Gerber’s baby food. Over the past few seasons, as Romo quarterbacked the Dallas Cowboys to early postseason exits or horrifying collapses, which usually comes no later than December, he’s rarely been blamed or vilified following embarrassing losses that were a disgrace to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who spent top-dollar to assemble the best product.

Maybe Romo can pioneer the Cowboys to a Super Bowl victory, but he’d have to minimize the number of turnovers, cease making poor decisions with the ball and stop being so careless and play with more assertiveness. Sometimes watching Romo makes me cringe. Sometimes watching Romo makes me less interested in watching the Cowboys. It’s the same old routine, the same tired absurdity each week and Romo is so predictable, that fans don’t have to even watch to get the 411.

Be consistent and protect the ball. That’s all we ever ask of Antonio Ramiro Romo, the choking quarterback who is overpraised and defended by his peers, fans and bosses. For almost six years, Romo wasn’t keeping up with the Joneses, not then, not ever. It’s well established that Romo, who threw four interceptions on Sunday in a disastrous 29-24 loss to the New York Giants, is not the next elite quarterback. He’s not even close to what Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach were. It’s troubling enough that Romo, whose inability to complete and deliver a pass to his wide receivers, cannot ever advance further than the first round or even escape the first round with a postseason victory. And if he’s not mistake-free and persists on blundering week in and week out, Romo will always be victimized by a defensive back and will have the ball picked.

One day, eventually, Jones will come to his senses and replace him with another quarterback. No one in pro football, after having an awful performance, has been appreciated more than Romo. He thinks he’s one who should be anchoring the Cowboys. And, of course, just by his body language and frantic looks, which has become old news lately for Cowboys fans, Romo does not take accountability for his team’s failures. Like so many tortured fans, mad with the world and disappointed at the organization, they surely could run Romo out of town, burn his expensive jerseys and stage a funeral outside of Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

It’s hard to believe in a guy when each week he repeatedly turns over the ball to cost the Cowboys and his teammates a victory. It’s hard to believe in a guy who is frequently shaky and vulnerable for attack every time he takes a snap. It has become common to watch Romo gag each week, like a man gagging on a T-bone steak. The Heinrich maneuver could in all probability save that man’s life, whereas for Romo, not even an emergency rescue procedure could rescue him from hell. In fairness, Romo is likely less blameless, with a team that consist of an aging core, with a team that lacks an offensive line. It doesn’t help that Jason Garrett is on the sideline as Cowboys head coach, as his bad clock management and unsuccessful play calling could have an unwanted effect on Romo.

If people would just look at the offense, they’d see an aging group of players who were recruited by Bill Parcells – Miles Austin and Jason Witten. As they approach the end of their careers, DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff are only getting older and cannot run as hard as they once did to rush the opposing quarterback. But before the Cowboys are described as a mediocre team for the next few years, which makes sense if Romo is still quarterbacking the team, let’s not forget that Dez Bryant is the star of the future. And, in fact, he should be the only player worthy of wearing the star logo helmet, after making what appeared to be a spectacular game-winning catch Sunday.

Sadly enough, the Cowboys are a staggering 3-4 and are in tremendous disarray, with another season in jeopardy of nothing more but a waste. If Jones doesn’t care much, then apparently no one else cares much, either, when in fact all of his players are paid and overly pampered. This is a huge problem for the Cowboys and Romo, about as worst as it can get for a famous team that has failed to reach expectations and is bothered by fiascoes, which has crippled Jones’ ‘Boys for years. What should have been an eye opener a long time ago was Romo, who was given more than enough time to correct his throwing mechanics, his weak spots and find ways to eliminate costly mistakes that normally results in an intercepted pass. Romo can’t breathe, nor can he dodge the scrutiny, after throwing to men wearing blue uniforms instead of those wearing white. What I know is, and you should know this as well, is that the Cowboys won’t ever again see triumph until Jones part ways with a fluctuant quarterback.

I don’t care that he becomes the first ever Cowboys quarterback to throw for 500 yards in a game. I don’t care that he’s signed through 2013. I don’t care that Bill Polian, a former Panthers and Colts executive, advised the Cowboys to stick with him. And I certainly don’t care that Romo wasn’t the center of attention or even blamed for most of the team’s misfortune, during a time in his life when he was dating starlet Jessica Simpson and jetted off to a romantic trip to Mexico before a playoff game. I don’t even care whether or not Terrell Owens was a detriment to the team and divided his teammates. That’s all irrelevant now. Talk about what’s relevant.

Romo has won only one playoff game in his six seasons as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback. Romo, sad to say the least, is really not much of a difference from Ryan Leaf, Quincy Carter, Vinny Testaverde or Drew Bledsoe. This season alone, he has nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions. As we are midway through the NFL season, Romo is declining, retrograding and deteriorating. Where he stands now is far from elite. Where he stands now is far from a Super Bowl winner. If they could, the Cowboys would snatch Aikman from the broadcasting booth and sign him to a deal to take snaps on Sundays. If you think this is a joke, it’s really not a joke, it’s not a laughing matter. It’s a disgrace to a well-respected franchise, which is now America’s most scrutinized franchise, as Romo and company makes a damn mockery out of a team built of champions, good character and grace.

If Romo is their guy, ‘Boys won’t be ‘Boys.

Truth is, he’s not a franchise quarterback, he’s a franchise disgrace, but Jones doesn’t see it. Then again, maybe he does and just doesn’t want change and rather continue to head down the wrong direction, delaying success and keeping an impatient Dallas fan base waiting for different results.

If the Cowboys are to escape misery and win a Super Bowl title, Jones must get rid of Romo.

No other solution.