Something about the shotgun formation gets Tony Romo in trouble.
1. NFL Record-Tying Sixth Straight Playoff Loss
Divisional Round – January 13, 2008 – New York Giants 21, Dallas Cowboys 17
TONY ROMO STAT LINE: 18/36, 201 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT,
After sweeping the New York Giants in the regular season, the Cowboys crumbled in the spotlight at home to the Younger Manning and The G-Men. New York won their ninth consecutive road game, but it was Romo and Friends who blew their chances of advancing. With 1:50 to go in the 4th, Romo executed and delivered accurate passes to RB Marion Barber and TE Jason Witten, marching down to the Giants’ 23-yard line.
Again from the shotgun formation, Romo misfired consecutive barrels deep to Patrick Crayton and his final pull to … Terry Glenn (who finished with 0 catches in the 2007 regular season). R.W. McQuarters, of course, had 0 picks in 2007 … The real heartbreaking twist to the plot is a matter of why Romo didn’t target more viable and exponentially better options Terrell Owens or Witten.
“That’s My Quarterback”: Romo was with Jessica Simpson spending his team’s bye weekend, by flying to Los Cabos, Mexico, and relaxing with friends and family. This may be the only game on this list that I’d consider blaming Romo for not coming through in the clutch.
2. What’s a Cowboy to a Viking?
Divisional Round: January 17, 2010 – Dallas Cowboys 3, Minnesota Vikings 34
TRSL: 22/35 198 YDS, 0 TD, 1 INT, 3 FUMBLES, 2 LOST, QBR 66.1, 2 RUSH ATTEMPTS, 4 YDS, QBR 66.1
1st Half: Tony Romo sacked + fumble at the MIN 38; 48 yard field goal attempt NO GOOD; 33 yard field goal GOOD; Tony Romo sacked + fumble at DAL 28; Romo pass incomplete to Miles Austin + Punt; Tony Romo sacked -16 yards
2nd Half: 49 yard field goal attempt NO GOOD; Romo incomplete to Austin + Punt; Romo pass intercepted by OLB Ben Leber at DAL 20; Tony Romo sacked for -7 yards + Punt; Romo to Jason Witten for no gain on 4th-and-3; Romo pass incomplete Austin on 4th-and-3; Felix Jones 8 yard gain + End of Game
Why it’s not Romo: Romo’s sacked six times; Kicker Shaun Suisham kicked a vibe-killing, 1 of 3 in field goals attempts; Dallas’ best wide receiver was … a tight end (Witten); Marion Barber averaged 1.6 yards per carry; 40-year-old Brett Favre threw 4 touchdowns on 15 completions
Week 17 - January 1, 2011 - Dallas Cowboys 14, New York Giants 31
TRSL: 29/37 289 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT, 1 FUMBLE LOSS, QBR 106.0
On a rainy New Year’s evening in East Rutherford, NJ, the winner between the Cowboys and the Giants will claim the NFC East’s title and host the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild-Card Round.
Losing 21-0 after the first half, Tony Romo and Offense capped a 94-yard drive with a 34-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Laurent Robinson.
After a momentum-shifting third down conversion, Romo stood back in shotgun formation, (11 personnel), and softly lofted a pass over the middle (intended for tight end Jason Witten) to Antrel Rolle – blessing the Giants’ strong safety with his 2nd interception … in 16 weeks.
Why it’s not Romo’s fault: Dallas’ D gave up 4 touchdowns in 34 minutes; allowed a 46 percent third down conversion rate; and their invisible ground attack was softer … than Casper the Friendly Ghost (16 attempts 49 yards)!
4. Win-And-Take-All: Round Two
Week 17 - December 30, 2012 – Dallas Cowboys 18, Washington Redskins 28
TRSL: 20/37 218 YDS, 2 TD, 3 INT, QBR 55.9
On their first possession (3rd-and-8; 11 Personnel) – Romo overthrew a pass intended for Kevin Ogletree running a crossing route.
(2nd-and-5, 21 Personnel) Josh Wilson picks off an underthrown pass for Miles Austin streaking along the rail. Washington’s eight in the box pressures Romo to make a quick (ill-advised) decision.
Prior to his third interception, viewers learned (courtesy of NBC Sports) that Romo, in his last six games, registered a completion rate of 62.5 percent, 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions (118.5 QBR) in the fourth quarter. We were taught that he’s led four game-winning drives and that he could seize his fifth with this opportunity.
With 3:12 left on the clock, Romo stood in the shotgun formation (11 Personnel) and lobbed an impetuous, cute joke to DeMarco Murray (covered by Rob Jackson) in the flat. Props go to defensive coordinator Jim Haslett for devising a masterful defensive strategy against the Cowboys.
At Ease: The ‘Boys defense let up 200 plentiful rushing yards to rookie running back Alfred Morris and QB RGIII legged 63 of his own. Washington’s powerful running attack and stingy defense overcame the Cowboys, not just their quarterback.
5. 506: Not Enough.
Week 5 - October 6, 2013 – Denver Broncos 51, Dallas Cowboys 48
TRSL: 25/36, 506 YDS, 5 TDs, 1 INT, 1 RUSH, 7 YDS,
With Chris Harris out with a concussion, and Robert Ayers and Wesley Woodyard gone with shoulder injuries, injured linebacker Danny Trevathan made one heck of a catch to give his offense a chance to win the game in regulation.
DT followed Romo’s eyes and jumped in front of rookie tight end (47th overall pick) Gavin Escobar, which eventually set-up Matt Prater’s game-winning field goal attempt. Romo again, stood in shotgun, (10 Personnel) and lofted one over the middle as the pocket collapsed. (Reminiscent of the games aforementioned?)
Don’t Blame Romo: No, he’s not a choke artist. For starters, his “supporting cast” allowed 51 points. For seconds (starving?), you’ve got to sack Peyton Manning more than … 0 times. The Cowboys defense tooted their horns and trumpets all week – even covered the spread (DEN -7) – but sacked the Sheriff a terrible zero times.