Detroit 34, Dallas 30: Romo Trades in His Hero Status, Possibly for Good

Holding a 27-3 lead at the time, Tony Romo explains his strategy for keeping the Lions undefeated. Ready…Break!

Tony Romo’s performance in two consecutive games while playing with injuries helped most forget the dreadful performance at the end of the week 1 loss to the Jets.

What Romo did against the Lions will also make us forget the Jets game because this one was so much worse. The Cowboys entrusted Romo to take care of a 27-3 lead, and he promptly threw two interceptions that the Lions returned for scores to cut the Dallas lead to 27-17.

Yes, it’s true that Romo played a big role in the team getting the lead, but what he did in throwing those picks erased any good will he earned from such a good first half. In fact, it’s going to be tough for even the most positive of fans to have faith in Romo again.

Dallas had the big lead thanks to a great first half. Gerald Sensabaugh, who later left the game with an injury, picked off a pass on Detroit’s opening drive. Dallas moved the ball easily from that point, and Romo’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant along the right sideline gave the Cowboys a 7-0 lead.

Dallas had a chance to go up even further after driving to the Detroit 1. But on fourth down, Felix Jones was stuffed as the Lions shut the drive down.

The Cowboys didn’t fold at that point, though. Early in the second quarter, Romo drove inside the 10 once again thanks to Romo’s 44-yard pass to Laurent Robinson. Romo hit Bryant again, increasing the lead to 14-0.

Dan Bailey kicked two field goals from there, giving Dallas a 20-3 lead.

The Cowboys got great field position to open the second half when defensive lineman Sean Lissemore returned a short kickoff into Detroit territory. Six plays later, Romo found Jason Witten in the back of the end zone, giving Dallas a 27-3 lead.

The Dallas defense made a stop, giving the ball back to the Cowboys’ offense.

Dear Jason Garrett: Your team is leading by 24 with 10:30 left in the third quarter. The last thing you need is for Romo to try to force a pass to someone. Got it?

On first down, Romo tried to force a pass into double coverage. Bobby Carpenter (yes, that Bobby Carpenter) picked off the pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown.

Dallas 27, Detroit 10.

Dallas controlled the ball on the next drive, mixing runs with short passes. Then Romo tried to thread the needle and hit Robinson on a slant. Chris Houston stepped in front of the ball at the Detroit 44 and ran down the right sideline for yet another touchdown.

Dallas 27, Detroit 17.

The Cowboys drove on the next drive for a field goal to increase the lead to 13, but the Lions still had all the momentum. The 13-point lead only lasted about 80 seconds into the fourth quarter. Matthew Stafford’s touchdown to Calvin Johnson cut the Dallas lead to 30-24.

Dear Tony Romo: You put your team into this mess, so it would be nice for you to lead a drive that would get the team out of this mess. Got it?

Ahem.

Dallas went three-and-out twice in a row. The Dallas defense held once, but on a later drive by the Lions, Jason Hanson nailed a 51-yard field goal to cut the Dallas lead to 30-27.

When nobody expects much from Romo, he can be a hero. When he absolutely has to be a hero, he…

…throws the ball off his back foot. Witten might have been open over the middle, but linebacker Stephen Tulloch was in position to pick off the underthrown pass.

The Dallas defense slowed the Lions, but at that point, it was just a matter of time. Frank Walker was called for holding on a third-down play in the end zone, giving the Lions and first and goal from the 2. Dallas had Terence Newman line up in single coverage on Johnson, and it wasn’t a contest.

Dallas had a chance to get into position to throw a couple of passes into the end zone, but the team couldn’t even get that far.

  • clock management lost us this game.  Simple as that.  When you are up 24 points, don’t get greedy!  Runs and short yardage plays should be used to WASTE the clock in your favor.  Tony Romo will get the job done.  This is my opinion of course and I am sure I will hear it from everyone.

  • Hipdjblues

    Jerry Jones has continued to lead the Dallas Franchise to its lowest depths of  Cowboy history, turn in your tickets and allow the fool Joneses to dilute this team until we are more than a foot note of bad ego management. 4 and 14 another successful butts in the seats profit for less than average players but the Jones only see green……

  • Gregpetty

     Clock can be friend or worst enemy

  • Anonymous

    Garrett has been involved in the same losses that Romo has, so there is blame to go around. And Garrett has to know that Romo has a propensity to make bad mistakes, so Garrett needs to manage the game. So I agree with your statements about the clock management. However, Romo has to be smart enough not to make those throws– especially the one to Carpenter. A conservative play that leads to a punt is far, far better than a needless gamble.

  • Sauadup

    Its a shame u have to manage your own. Qb…Do u guys even listen to what u post ?

    Tom Brady don’t need management when he put up 40 burgers on qb.. And who in the heck run the ball to kill the clock early in the 3rd qtr? Once again listen to u guys.. I can understand late in the 3rd or in 4th quarter..

    Just face it guys Romo blew the game and he blew it hard..