The question of the week is this: is there any marquee player in the NFL who is alternatively as electrifying and exasperating as Tony Romo?
Here’s a guy who see-saws between hero’s laurels and goat horns, seemingly game to game. And today, it was half to half. Romo had three TD throws in the first 33 minutes against the undefeated Lions, but then, three picks – two of them returned for touchdowns.
This has been the pattern of Romo’s season, and, as it’s shaping up, his career. At any moment he is apt to rescue his team with feats of daring do, often showing the presence of mind to improvise his way out of one crisis after another. And then, the next week, or maybe the next moment, he’ll turn in a performance or make a decision that sends Cowboys fans to the ledge.
This season started in disaster against the Jets, with a late fumble and interception that cost Dallas a game they appeared to have won. But that was followed by gritty efforts with broken ribs against the 49ers and Redskins.
And then came today’s misadventures against Detroit, as a 27-3 lead somehow went up in smoke. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated has tabbed Romo the NFL’s MPP- Most Pivotal Player. A guy who seems just as likely to singlehandedly pull a game out or give it away. As Banks correctly notes, you could make a case that without Romo, the Cowboys might be 0-4 or maybe 4-0. What that averages out to is 2-2, which is where they are right now heading into their bye week, which is followed by a trip to New England and a date with the Patriots.
So, there will be plenty for the newspapers to dissect and debate over the next two weeks. It’s all very interesting and all very entertaining, provided you don’t have a rooting interest. But for those who do, this sort of topsy turvy ride that winds up in the neighborhood of .500 is not what Jerry Jones, Tony Romo or legions of Cowboys fans had in mind.
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