Cowboys: Romo Saves Season – But For Now


59. 24. 123. Final. 14

Quarterback Tony Romo helps the Dallas Cowboys snap a seven-game losing streak with a 24-14 win over the Miami Dolphins at rainy Sun Life Stadium.

Not since Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman was a rookie in 1989 had this franchise suffered a stretch of such futility. That team managed two losing streaks, one of eight games to begin the season and another of seven to end it.

Thank you, Washington Redskins – it is close to Thanksgiving, after all.

The 2015 Cowboys had already matched one of those losing skids, one of the seven game variety without starting quarterback Tony Romo – but then he came back on Sunday.

The Cowboys survived brief heavy rains on their first offensive possession near their own end zone and also two Romo interceptions to leave Sun Life Stadium with a 24-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

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That’s right, Dallas won a football game.

With a record of 3-7, it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s time to celebrate, at least not until you glance at the NFC East standings. The idle New York Giants now lead the division by two games over Dallas and by just a game over the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles, both of whom were blown out on Week 11.

Can the Cowboys surpass the Giants?

The odds would seem slim, but if the Cowboys can win their remaining six games, I’d place the odds at about 35-40 percent. New York, at 5-5, certainly has the look of a future 8-8 team, a mark that the Cowboys would leapfrog with a 9-7 record. That’s the best Dallas can do at this point.

Let’s also remember that winning out will be no simple task, especially with the 10-0 Carolina Panthers coming into AT&T Stadium in just four days for Thanksgiving.

Yes, the playoffs have arrived and the Cowboys simply have to start the tournament early – really early.

Romo, despite those two interceptions was pretty sharp in his return, especially given the completely mediocre play from an offensive line that is by no means the best blocking front of its kind in the NFL. If that distinction earned just a year ago is to bestow these youngsters again in ’15 some serious issues have to stop immediately.

Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith has to stop giving up sacks, a bad habit that’s been developing over the last few weeks. Holding penalties have to become a thing of the past from interior guards like La’el Collins and Zack Martin. Right tackle Doug Free has to kill false starts. Pass protection from this group is slightly below average, and against the Dolphins it was just good enough to allow Romo to find a couple of huge touchdown passes to wide receivers Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams.

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Oh, about those two receivers: The silly taunting penalties have to disappear as well, like yesterday.

A quick check online shows me that Bryant has a total of 60 touchdowns in the NFL, 58 in the air and a couple of punts run back during his rookie year of 2010. Williams has 15 NFL touchdowns and was a welcomed sight back in the playmaking department in south Florida.

Having said that, 75 touchdowns between these two players should be enough for them to act like they’ve been in the end zone before. That 15-yard penalty added to the ensuing kickoff after Dallas went up 14-0 just before halftime set the stage for 14 unanswered points scored by the Dolphins.

Yeah, that garbage has to stop – and some still ask me why I don’t think head coach Jason Garrett is any kind of leader.

One thing is for sure – the Cowboys will either have a great Thanksgiving holiday or it will pretty much end the season as any hope of winning the NFC East would depend completely on a huge collapse on the part of everybody else in the division.

Hey, they say that cream always rises to the top, right?

But what if there is no cream?

In that case, we’re then trying to figure out which crap floats as opposed to sinks.

If the Cowboys want to be associated with the cream of the NFC, Thursday marks their most recent chance to do so. It’s probably their best chance of the season, as only a loss to the AFC’s New England Patriots back in October looms as a game in which Dallas didn’t appear worthy of even being on the same field – thank you Brandon Weeden.

Next: SMU: Can Mustangs Finish 2015 With Momentum?

Again, now’s the time to give thanks.

We should at least give some genuine thanks to Romo for stepping right back into action after two months away and winning his 11th straight game outside of Arlington while saving the Cowboys’ season – at least for now.

  • Published on 11/23/2015 at 01:18 AM
  • Last updated at 11/23/2015 at 02:07 AM