Back in the 1970s, Cowboys linebacker D.D. Lewis once quipped that “Texas Stadium has a hole in its roof so God can watch His favourite team play.”
Four decades later, the lid was similiarly open at the retractable-roofed Cowboys Stadium on Monday night. And anyone looking down through the gap from above did not like what they saw from the Dallas Cowboys.
You can bet Roger Staubach certainly didn’t as he peered down at the field through a set of binoculars from the club level.
What Staubach, 90,000-plus fans in attendance and millions of television viewers all witnessed was a disfunctional Dallas offence that fumbled, bumbled and stumbled its way to a 34-18 loss to the Chicago Bears, a festival of Cowboys turnovers orchestrated by Tony Romo.
Romo tossed five interceptions in this stinker, yet was not alone in the blame.
Despite making eight catches for a career-high 105 yards, combustable wideout Dez Bryant spent much of the evening having footballs clank off his iron hands — when they weren’t slipping through them.
Maybe the private security team the Cowboys are using to monitor his wobbly behaviour can teach him to catch too.
DeMarco Murray rushed for just 24 yards. The offensive line couldn’t open any holes.
Having said that, the bulk of the guilt must fall on Romo.
An onlooking Staubach probably would have been the first to tell you that not all the interceptions were Romo’s fault, a valid point considering all the drops and bad routes Bryant and his fellow wideouts were displaying.
But when you, as the quarterback, are responsible for eight turnovers in two games. you can’t escape wearing the goathorns.
We’ve seen this act from Romo before. Too often loyal Cowboys fans have been teased by Good Tony only to be gutted by Bad Tony.
Asked what the key was to sucking Romo into five picks, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher replied that “we caught the balls that were thrown to us.”
All five of them.
Romo’s five interceptions upped his NFL-leading total to eight, two less than all of last season. At this rate, he’s on pace to finish the season with 32.
Those numbers don’t lie.
But here’s some that do.
Romo’s scoring strike to Miles Austin late in the first half was the 154th of his career, moving him past Staubach into third place on the franchise’s all-time touchdown pass list. All the while, Staubach was there to see it.
Those stats are irrelevant, really. Aside from the jersey on his back and the stats he has accrued, Romo is nothing like Staubach.
That’s the problem.
Admittedly, Staubach had some bad days en route to the Hall of Fame but never as many — or as rancid — as Romo sometimes produces.
More importantly, Staubach has more Super Bowl rings (2) than Romo has playoff victories (1). And in Jerry World, isn’t the mantra to win?
“All I know is we have a long way to go,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, indicating that his team’s coming bye week will feature some soul searching. “I’m glad we have the time off that we have. That’ll give us a chance to reassess and look in the mirror.”
When Romo stares at his mirror, one thing he won’t see in the reflection is the contract extension he is seeking. Discussions have broken off until the end of the season, ESPN reported this week.
Upon further review, do the Cowboys really want him as their leader after his contract runs out after next season? He’s already 32; Jones has already said the window is closing on this group of core players; and, finally, how many big games has this guy really won in his career?
“You have to get over it — it’s just going to suck for a few days now, obviously,” Romo said of the Bears loss. “It’s going to sit there in your stomach and just eat at you.”
You can bet the inconsistent Romo’s act is eating away at Jones. Read between the lines and you get the vibe that Jones won’t be shy to turn the team’s quarterbacking page, perhaps evidenced by the fact that contract talks are on hold for now.
In the end, beating Staubach’s records won’t get Romo the money he thirsts for.
Only winning big games like Staubach did will do that.
ONE OF THE GREATS?
He was picked off five times and was criticized on Twitter by LeBron James, among others. At the same time, Tony Romo did move past the great Roger Staubach into third place on the Cowboys all-time TD pass list in the 34-18 drubbing his Cowboys took at the hands of the Chicago Bears on Monday. Here’s a look.