Romo a non-factor for once, as Eagles beat Cowboys like a rented, red-headedmule
Has there ever been a worse weekend for DFW sports fans? First, there was the thing with the bats and balls we're not even going to get into, then the Dallas Cowboys lost 34-7 to their hated rivals in TV's Sunday night feature game. The only things that could make it worse would be Dirk Nowizki slamming his shooting hand in a car door and Mark Cuban getting another reality show.
Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles hyped the floor with Rob Ryan's Dallas defense Sunday night, jumping out to a 34-0 lead by executing with precision, pushing white jerseys around in the trenches and turning LeSean McCoy into Barry Sanders reincarnate. "The Cream Team" outplayed Dallas in every way imaginable, making the Cowboys playoff dreams as futile as DPS catching a speeder on Mopac at five o'clock on a weekday. Coming off a bye week, Andy Reid's Eagles are the 1972 Dolphins, 13-0 and counting. Amazingly, both Dallas and Philly are 3-4, which at this point is like saying that Jeff Beck and the guitar player for Flaccid Nightstick both have 10 fingers.
Before the game, Chris Collinsworth—who rivals Troy Aikman as pro football's best commentator—remarked that Dallas could very well be 6-0 going in. After the way they were thumped, the Cowboys look like a team that could just as easily be 1-6. To the credit of players and coaches, the Cowboys kept playing hard, but they just don't seem to be very good. I mean, c'mon, Keith Brookings in the middle? And that "Olay!" O-line?
Perhaps the greatest testament to Philadelphia's complete domination was that Dallas starting satyrback (half hero / half goat) Tony Romo provided zero drama. It was like leaving a movie and saying you didn't realize Al Pacino was in it. The Cowboys played and, for once, Romo didn't trend.
"Can you believe that Tony Romo?” are words on Twitter that tell you nothing about a Dallas Cowboys game just played. You need to see if the person tweeting puts his or her head in their hands or two fists in the air. “Freaking Romo!” Same thing.
Being a diehard fan of a team led by field general Romo is, usually, to have a year taken off your life one Sunday, then put back the next. The jaws of defeat have a love/hate relationship with number 9, not knowing if he's going to feed them another fourth quarter feast or snatch victory from their chomp. Romo has even helped evolution along, making Cowboy fans' hearts grow a protective lining or else the species may start to become extinct after too many more games like the collossal collapse against the Detroit Lions October 2, when Romo was brilliant the first half, but then unraveled with two INTs that were returned for touchdowns. The Cowboys blew a 24-point lead, the biggest in franchise history.
He's been nicknamed the Romocoaster for the way he can bring emotions to deep valleys and soaring peaks, but the only thing last night proved was that, for his sixth season as a starter, this ride ain't going anywhere near Super Bowl Mountain.
The rout did have a couple of productive developments. Running back DeMarco Murray's 253-yard game against St. Louis last week proved to be no fluke; Felix Jones can take all the time he needs to get healthy. And, wide receiver Laurent Robinson could be this year's Miles Austin (who's been playing like last years' Roy Williams). The defensive backs looked confused all game and the linebackers, after Sean Lee left with an injury, didn't make any plays. Meanwhile, Vick felt more pressure from the handful of PETA protesters when he arrived than from the vaunted Dallas defensive live.
You can't blame expectant papa Romo for this one. No, Buddy Ryan's boy Rob—the one in the Emmylou Harris wig-- mouthed off before the season that his team would beat the All-Hype Eagles and then had to watch them march up and down the field. Were the Dallas DBs in prevent defense the whole game?
As Philly jumped out 14-0 before the pizza arrived, Romo's mission was to try and make the loss respectable.
Usually Romo's meltdowns are late in the season, like in 2007 when the division-winning 13-3 Cowboys were driving for a winning toughdown against the Giants, but ended up losing 21-17, as R.W. McQuarters intercepted Romo in the end zone. The next two years found Romo having All-Pro regular seasons and dreadful playoffs, with the Cowboys losing 44-6 to Philadelphia in 2008 and 34-3 to Brett Favre and Minnesota in 2009. A criticized getaway with Jessica Simpson to Cabo was somewhere in the middle of all that.
This season, Romo got all the heart-stopping action going early, which is good because Cowboys games don't look like like they'll mean much late in the year except to see where the Cowboys will pick in the draft. We remember opening night against the Jets at the Meadowlands, when the Cowboys were slapping Rex Ryan's crew around for three quarters until Romo flaked big time and gave the game away. That one was tough to take.
But the next week, Romo came back in the second half with a cracked rib and punctured lung and led the Cowboys from behind to beat the 49ers in San Francisco. Jim Harbaugh’s handshake after that game was downright demure. In the week three home opener, Tony Hero thrilled the Jerry Jonestown cult with an 18-16 come-from-behind victory against the Washington Redskins.
Romo is the greatest Dallas Cowboys quarterback ever when you look at career passer ratings (Romo’s 95.5 is number 4 all-time in the NFL), yardage, touchdown passes and hot girlfriends. But Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman won multiple championships, while #9's gag rep goes back to the 2006 season wild card game against Seattle, when he Fredo-ed the hold on a potential game-winning 19-yard field goal.
After the 2007 playoff loss to the Giants, a voice-quivering Terrell Owens famously defended Antonio Ramiro Romo, by saying "That's my quarterback." Romo choked and T.O. choked up.
But I'm with Owens on this one. I'm standing by Tony Romo, for better or worse. That's my quarterback. NFL's greatest drama queen has the talent to one day win it all and no Super Bowl is ever going to be sweeter. Think I'm not going to see this crazy journey all the way through? Meanwhile, every time Romo blows a game, he makes Jerry Jones as miserable as a roofer in 105 degree heat, so we've got that going for us. Win win.