Saturday, November 10, 2012
If You Are Jerry Jones, Do You Renew Tony Romo's Contract in 2013? The Dallas Cowboys have put contract extension talks with Tony Romo on the back burner until their season ends this year; and the way Tony has played in his recent career and this year especially, those talks may never resume. His contract expires next year. Tony and his offensive line have had repetitive problems with communication, securing the ball, and playing consistently over the past seasons. Last year they were plagued with miscues leading to fumbled snaps and this season is full of not being on the same page. Tony throws one play but his receivers are running a different route and handing those mistakes to their opponents in fumbles and numerous interceptions game after game. Dez Bryant caused a fumble and was partly to blame for one of the interceptions after running a different route Tony apparently called a different route this week. In Sunday's game against the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys' problems with communication resulted in four consecutive turnovers including three interceptions to give Eli Manning and his team 20 points, barely into the second quarter. At this rate, Kyle Orton could be quarterback and Brad Garrett could be out of a job. They should also hire someone else to sing their theme song; nothing says “not so tough" like Kelly Clarkson. Closer to halftime, Tony Romo and his front line starting making connections and creating plays for a touchdown and field goal but still struggled to understand who was protecting whom and which coverage plays to follow. Again, communication plagued their chances to be up 14. Instead they were up 10 on the board to close in on the Giants 23 consecutive points before the half. Desperate to make plays and after three straight fails to score a touchdown on the one yard line, Tony ran it in himself for the 6, followed by an exaggerated victory cheer to bring the score 17-23. The question still remains, are his sporadic big plays and only one career playoff win enough to keep him as a solid starter in what is likely the final leg of his career, as he signs his next contract after this season? He's 32 and has never even come close to the Super Bowl. Dallas may be his only option to remain a starter in his next seasons; on the other hand, former Denver Broncos' starting QB Kyle Orton is his backup. Is it time to utilize him more before giving Tony millions more than he might not be earning? As Wade Phillips learned, Jerry Jones will stand behind you to watch every single move. Even if he gives you another chance, by game four a year later, you could still be sent packing. In Sunday's game, Tony did become #2 in passing yards for the Dallas franchise, behind Troy Aikman; though with far less success in wins and Super Bowl victories to show for it. The good news for Tony, is Jerry does hold on two years longer than he should. Tony seems to be injured every year by week 4, then again by December. This year was no different, though he so far is playing regularly for his team. The other saving grace for Tony Romo is his defensive line who stopped the Giants from scoring four touchdowns and forced three-and-outs in the second half. They followed that by setting Tony up for another drive that finally resulted in a touchdown for the Dallas Cowboys to take the lead for the first time in the game. In the end of the third quarter, the score rose to 24-23. Then comes the next problem Tony Romo seems to have: the fourth quarter, particularly when the clock has wound down to less than ten minutes in the game. The other problem is playing Eli Manning, who rocks the fourth quarter comeback like his big brother Peyton. Even when the Cowboys are ahead, previous snap problems and more communication errors, come back to haunt them. If the defense can carry Tony long enough, he might make enough plays to sign a few more years and make a lasting mark in the NFL. His biggest test will come next week against the undefeated Atlanta Falcons at 7-0. Long story short, Tony needed this win against the New York Giants and several more this season. If I'm Jerry Jones, Tony must make it to the playoffs and win at least in the first round for me to re-sign him. So how did the fourth quarter go? At 10:20 left in the game, the Giants were back up 26-24 after a field goal at the end of their drive. This is clutch time for both quarterbacks when the final leg of the game is so vital to both Manning and Romo in their careers so far. 6:50 left to play and the Cowboys turn the ball over again as Felix Jones fumbles. This turnover put the Giants in excellent field position in Cowboy territory with less than 30 yards to go. With about four minutes left and third down and 21 to go, the Giants are held to yet another field goal, the fifth of the game to make the score 29-24. The Cowboys now need a touchdown to win with 3:31 left to play. After the kickoff and three penalties, one on Dallas, the Cowboys have 3:14 to score and secure the win. After a couple first downs, the clock stops at the two minute warning. The NFC East rivals both hold all three timeouts still. The fourth quarter also showed Jason Witten not only makes Tony Romo look good, but he could also help Tony keep his job and give their team much needed wins to make it to the postseason. Now 4th and 1 again for Dallas with 1:14 left, Romo is pushed deep back and intercepted for the sixth turnover and fourth interception. Terry Bradshaw had predicted four Romo interceptions in the pregame show; it's never a good sign when everyone knows you won't show up when it counts. So Tony Romo and his miscues with Dez Bryant and the O-Line in the fourth quarter take their chances of winning again. Or not? Not so fast! In a miracle Hail Mary it looks as though Tony Romo saves the game with a touchdown pass across the field. Then it appears the ball may come back with less than 10 seconds to go. The review declares Dez Bryant's hands hit the ground out of bounds and the pass is ruled incomplete with 10 seconds left in the game and it's 3rd and 6. Dez is injured on that play, Dallas has used all timeouts, and one second left on the Giants' 27. Tony airs it out but it's overthrown; and that's the game!