He can’t not throw it.
Romos’ Achilles’ heel since the beginning is that he can’t not try to make a play. First down with the game on the line, he trusts his touch on a screen that 25 other quarterbacks just throw out of bounds. And the Cowboys can’t overcome that bad decision in a 28-18 loss in what was a NFC East Championship game. Is Romo the problem, no, but he certainly is a problem. The defense couldn’t stop Alfred Morris, the offensive line couldn’t stop a pack of angry school girls, but the story is Romo.
Cowboy fans should be dejected. They caught lightning in a bottle this year, they played so far above their paper that they had a chance to win the NFC East and none of the multiple injuries or bad bounces mattered. And they ended up right where we thought they would; 8-8 and out of the playoffs.
Alfred Morris is a problem; between him and RG3 the Cowboys will need a lot of Advil for the next couple years. They will not have an easy game defensively against the Skins for years to come.
A lot of the issues in this game have a chance to be fixed with players getting healthy. The massive speed issue at the linebacker level to give the Redskins whatever they wanted in the running game would probably be solved with the return of Sean Lee and Bruce Carter. That should go a long way in solving RG# advantage in the zone read. Orlando Scandrick is also a better player against the run than is Mike Jenkins. I feel like Barry Church has a chance to be the piece that makes this defense elite by being a ball hawking free safety.
Some of the Cowboys problems have been solved internally. Sean Lissemore is a starting caliber player, and Tyrone Crawford has a chance to be a really solid defensive tackle. The emergence of these players makes either Kenyon Coleman or Marcus Spears, who has also picked up his game, an easy cut next year.
Doug Free has been spelled and maybe passed by Jeremy Parnell; does anyone have a solid idea about his capability as a starter? Nate Livings was better than advertised, which means he is incredibly average, but serviceable. Phil Costa was improved, but played a game and a half as he still seems to be made of glass. Mackenzy Bernadeau was bad, possibly serviceable if you upgrade the center and right tackle positions, but not someone I would endorse going forward. Tyron Smith is a good player.
This loss hurts, and it would be easy just to blame Romo alone, and go forward. But if you look at it in the scope of reality, if they win this game, they get blown out in a week against Seattle. This team had too many holes to start the season, and with the amount of injuries they suffered during the season no amount of spackle and duct tape could keep up. They were a doomed team, with too much heart to realize they were doomed. This is a team with real problems, with real needs; this is the best job I can do of pointing those out.
In order of need
2. Right tackle
3. Anthony Spencer
4. ILB depth
5. Nose tackle
6. Defensive end
7. Right guard
8. Saftey depth (Matt Jones?)
9. 4th corner ( Jenkins gone)
10. Quarterback to compete with Romo
Of those needs 6 are absolutely essential, and it must be noted that these are bodies needed, but starters of a caliber better than the players you have now. We won’t be able to do anything above signing Anthony Spencer in free agency, so that leaves one of the worst front offices in football with the task of finding 5 starters in 5 specific positions in 7 picks in the upcoming draft.
A tall task.
As much as I would love to over react and say our 1st round pick must be a quarterback, we simply can’t afford it. I would say extending Romo seems like a mistake at the moment, even though it’s probably inevitable as our cap situation is so dire if we don’t.
In short, barring a minor miracle, this Cowboys team will be at least 2 players away from good next year. 3 if Miles Austin is cut for cap reasons and not resigned or replaced, that means spending a 1st rounder on a Wideout, which would be absolutely maddening. And still both propped up by a Hero of a quarterback and hamstrung by his fatal flaw.