The trial of Tony Romo

The trial of Tony Romo

Credit: Getty Images

Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass during the game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField on December 22, 2013 in Landover, Maryland. The Cowboys defeated the Redskins 24-23. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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by ANDREW TOBOLOWSKY

WFAA Sports

Posted on January 2, 2014 at 2:04 PM

“Tony Romo, you stand accused of always melting down in the clutch, how do you plead?”

“Hey, yeah, so, obviously I agree that I’ve thrown some high profile interceptions in my career.”

“All the time. Constantly.”

“That actually seems unlikely, don’t you think?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well I only threw 10 INTs in 15 games, so the most times it could possibly have happened this season is 10. Which it didn’t, because 7 of those came in wins, and the only games we lost where I threw an INT were the Green Bay and Denver games.”

“Yes, but those were SUPER IMPORTANT. And LOST THE GAME.”

“Sure, but I mean... I threw the 8th least INTs among QBs who threw over 300 times this year. I tied with Peyton Manning in that category. It’s not bad.”

“SO YOU ADMIT IT.”

“Doesn’t it seem like…and I mean, just, you know, work with me here…that part of throwing game-losing INTs is always being in need of a game-winning drive?  Like I’m not a scientist, but it’s not exactly normal that 9 of my games this season, 12 last season, and 9 the season before were decided by a touchdown or less. That’s not exactly normal. The Eagles, for example, only had 4. And I actually won 5 of them. And I didn’t throw an INT in two of the losses, either. I mean I get like…a LOT of chances to throw game-losing INTs.”

“I see what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to blame the defense. But winning games is ultimately the QB’s responsibility, that’s why he gets paid the big bucks and gets to be the face of the franchise.”

“What does that mean? I’ve never really understood what that means.”

“THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU.”

“Basically what I hear you say is that no matter how bad the defense is, I’m supposed to magically stay ahead of it all the time.”

“Exactly.”

“So if, for example, I throw for over 500 yards and 5 TDs, and that isn’t enough, and I throw an INT, we lost because of me?”

“Exactly correct.”

“And the defense allowing 51 points, not that big of a deal.”

“Yes.”

“Okay, but can I just say that INTs technically count the same at any time in the game? And so do points? So it’s not magically the case that an INT thrown in the last minute is more of a game-loser than one thrown in the first minute, and obviously it’s more likely that you’ll throw one when you absolutely have to make things happen. Not, again, that I did that more than twice this season. But, you know, 2-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning has averaged 19 INTs per season since 2009, which is the most I’ve ever thrown in a single season. And yet his team still manages to win.”

“Everyone knows you make crucial mistakes!” 

 “I DO make crucial mistakes. In that Broncos game, for example, we only needed a field goal. The INT I threw against the Redskins in the last game last year was awful. I threw two INTs in the last four minutes of the Packers game, allowing a completely ridiculous comeback. I would venture to say I make more mistakes than the absolute best QBs in the league. I do.”

“Aha! So you admit it!”

“I just don’t understand why that’s so much worse than being like, Christian Ponder, or something. You know? Like, okay, I have this flaw that I make some important mistakes. But Ponder has this flaw, that he is not a very good QB. I’m not as good as Peyton Manning, and neither is Ponder, but I’m way closer. So why’s everyone talking about me all the time, on all channels, non-stop?”

“Because you’re not clutch!”

Look, I mean… the only guys who had a better QB rating than I had while throwing for more yards are Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning, both Rivers and Brees had more INTs than I did and Peyton had the same amount. Only Andy Dalton and those three guys had more TDs, and Dalton threw for 20 INTs. Objectively I’m one of the top 6 or 7 QBs in the league. I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal that I’m not better than that. It seems like something people could deal with.”

“I CANNOT deal with that.”

“I sometimes make crucial, high-profile mistakes, particularly because I’m always having to lead game-winning drives.  I also make a lot of amazing plays. I mean two weeks ago, I saved the season with a 4th down TD pass, with a minute left, with a broken back. If I don’t do better than that it’s because I’m not the greatest QB of all time. Which is something basically everyone but Peyton can say. Why is that news?”

“Tony Romo, you are a choker!”

“I could be better. Sure.” 

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