The narrative that Tony Romo is a “choke artist” is not fair or accurate. But it will get a lot of run in the coming days.
Romo set a Cowboys record with 506 yards and threw five touchdown passes on just 36 attempts, but his interception with just under two minutes left is all anyone will remember. Instead of Romo’s bad moment, we’ll remember Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan making one of the plays of the season on the interception.
“The kid made a good play,” Romo said after the game. “I didn’t get as much on it just with the people around me as I wanted to. I wanted to put it another foot or two out in front. I didn’t put it exactly where I need to to complete the pass. And it’s frustrating and disappointing.”
The throw was not a great decision by Romo. He was pressured, and tight end Gavin Escobar was surrounded, but the play by Trevathan truly was sensational. So was Romo’s performance throughout the day.
That’s not hyperbole. Romo quietly has been one of the steadiest quarterbacks in the NFL this season. The numbers say Romo has played well overall in the fourth quarter throughout his career, but there’s no denying he’s made critical mistakes — like in last season’s finale against Washington. Romo diminished excellent outings this season with his fourth-quarter performances against Kansas City and now Denver.
The Romo narrative already has been written by many, but it’s not entirely fair. Dallas’ defense gave up 51 points Sunday. The running game was a non-factor. Romo was the reason the Cowboys were in the game, and he’s the reason they have a chance to win every week.
The entire organization, however, has a nasty habit of wasting great efforts with rough endings. The entire organization, Romo included, doesn’t know how to close. There’s only one way to change that.