It's not Tony Romo's fault

October, 3, 2011
10/03/11
8:34
AM ET


Bill Barnwell of Grantland writes this morning you can't blame quarterback Tony Romo for the Cowboys 34-30 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Romo threw three second half interceptions that resulted in 21 points for the Lions and helped fuel their comeback.

Writes Barnwell: "Let's start with the idea that Romo somehow gifted the Lions 14 points by having two of his three interceptions returned for touchdowns. Go watch those plays again. It's one thing when a quarterback makes a terrible throw to the sideline and it gets jumped by an eager defender. That's a throw that invites a pick-six. The two interceptions that were returned for scores were both disappointing throws, but neither of them were totally on Romo."

It's not about finding fault in the interceptions, it's the decision making that bothers you with Romo. Of course, a pick-six can be attributed to any number of people, but offensive players, specifically wide receivers and running backs, are not taught to tackle. They are taught to avoid tacklers. Quarterbacks, in some cases, elude defensive players during returns to prevent getting hurt by a big hit. Offensive linemen, in some cases, are not athletic or fast enough to chase down a defensive back. Maybe a linebacker.

Romo's inability to protect the ball, something that is preached to him by coach Jason Garrett, is the issue here. Garrett is not a big stat guy, yet, he tells his team the opponents with the fewest turnovers win games.

Sunday afternoon the Cowboys had three turnovers and lost the game.

"The biggest thing we have to do in the ballgame is keep coaching and keep playing," Garrett said after the loss. "You can't do the things that allow you to lose a game like this. Again, I'm talking about the turnovers more than anything else. Then, within the game, you've got to keep looking for answers."

The answer is to stop committing turnovers. And on Sunday Romo didn't do that.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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