Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s post-game press conference lasted 4 minutes and 56 seconds - time he spent repeatedly taking blame for his team’s season-opening 27-24 loss to the New York Jets.
“Really, this game came down to one or two plays. And those plays were the plays that I gave them the ball,” said Romo, “And that’s the difference in winning and losing this ballgame.”
Romo repeated the theme. Even when reporters asked questions about the Cowboys' positive start, Romo steered the conversation back to his late game ineptitude.
“Its just disappointing and frustrating right now, because we win that football game if I don’t do what I did -- and it's hard to swallow just knowing that we lost this game because of me tonight,” said Romo.
The Darrelle Revis interception that set up Nick Folk’s 50-yard game-winning field goal was particularly troubling. Intended target Dez Bryant had Revis playing in front of him with a safety behind. The "bracket" coverage left no room for Romo to make the throw, but he tried it anyway. It reminded me of a young Romo, and how former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells used to talk about eliminating “impulse decisions” from his QB's game. Romo proved last night they’re still there.
“It was a dumb decision and too reactionary. I should have made sure, and that was my fault,” said Romo. “I’m pretty sure Dez made the right decision on adjusting his route on that, and that’s on me to adjust with it.... I didn’t do that, and that was stupid.”
There’s good news for Cowboy nation. Romo showed for three and a half quarters that he could distribute the ball to the myriad weapons this offense boasts, and do so against an elite defense. He threw for 326 yards and a pair of touchdowns, leading the offense to 390 total yards.
Romo also showed he can fall on his sword. Now he needs to show he can get back up and correct his mistakes.