Tony Romo threw for 506 yards and five touchdowns on 25 of 36 passes and it wasn't enough to win against the Denver Broncos in a 51 to 48 shootout. Romo played stride for stride with a quarterback that will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time. Honestly, he outplayed Manning.
However, on Dallas' final drive, with the score all knotted up at 48, Romo felt pressure from the pass rush and forced a throw that ended up as an interception. That's all people seem to notice about the record breaking performance by Dallas' most criticized gunslinger.
Critics say “Oh he shouldn't have forced that pass.” If Romo doesn't “force” passes on that final drive, Dallas punts the ball back to Peyton Manning and he drives the field to win the game. Romo did what he had to, which was try and win the game after already throwing 5 touchdowns and putting up 48 points.
If you think that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady haven't thrown interceptions on potentially game winning drives then you clearly don't watch much football. The point is, that Romo did everything to keep this team in a position to win against a team that many have picked as Super Bowl favorites.
Last week I defended the defense on the grounds that the offense gave them no help against San Diego. Well the defense got handled this week, no excuses. Peyton Manning is going to get his touchdowns and pass yards, I realize that. But when Knowshon Moreno rushes for 93 yards, and you combine that with Manning's passing attack, teams aren't going to stand a chance against the Broncos.
The Broncos offensive line killed the Dallas front four. Manning could have been eating popcorn in the pocket with all the time he had to pass. Against the rush their offensive line was opening up running lanes left and right and Dallas couldn't seem to do anything to stop it. It was a pitiful performance by the Dallas defensive line.
Now I did think there was a lot of holding and hands to the face penalties that weren't getting called against Denver's o-line but that's no excuse.
While Romo is shredding the Broncos defense mercilessly, the Dallas defense couldn't stop an average running attack led by Moreno.
The good news after this heart-wrenching game is that we know Tony and company can put up enough points to beat any team. Now Dallas just needs their defense and offense to show up on the same day.
Trying to blame this loss on Romo is foolish. He kept his team in the game. Dallas can build on this game and prepare for big divisional games against the Redskins and Eagles which will hopefully get the Cowboys back on the winning side.