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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Hot Button: Tony Romo or Jason Garrett?

By Dan Graziano


The Dallas Cowboys' angst-ridden season has inspired some interesting Hot Button debate topics over at ESPNDallas.com, and today's is no exception. Ben Rogers and Calvin Watkins take up the question of which individual in a Cowboys leadership position is more trustworthy -- quarterback Tony Romo or head coach Jason Garrett? Ben picks Romo, based on the idea that the quarterback has won more, proven more and has had to work so much harder for his opportunity:
The massive interception total on Romo's ledger has more to do with dumb receivers, no offensive line and no running game. Garrett has no excuse. He simply doesn't have a feel for the game. Why? Because there is no known robot program for feel. Give me Romo.
Garrett
Garrett
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Calvin takes the side of Garrett, based on his belief (articulated in this column he recently wrote) that Romo is regressing and that Garrett has shown an ability to learn from his mistakes:
Fast forward to the final moments of the game against the Baltimore Ravens just a few weeks ago. Garrett had 32 seconds to run two, maybe three more plays. Instead, the Cowboys allowed the clock to tick and finally called a timeout with six seconds left to set up a long field goal, only to see Dan Bailey miss from 51 yards.

Last week in the loss to the New York Giants, Garrett fired off three plays in the last 10 seconds, which prompted Giants coach Tom Coughlin to complain about the Cowboys Stadium clock operators. Garrett isn't perfect, but he understands he must do better -- and he is.

I side with Ben on this one. I agree with Calvin's belief that Garrett is not yet as good a football coach as he might someday be, and that Garrett is intelligent and circumspect enough to know what he needs to do better. But while Romo is not having as great a year as he had last year, he's got more in the NFL bank than Garrett does. Romo has won games in the fourth quarter -- a lot more often than he's lost them, in fact. He was one of the very few bright spots on a 2011 team that came within one game of winning the division, and past performance indicates that he's a better bet to improve by the end of this season than Garrett is. I don't know if Garrett will ever be a great NFL head coach. I've seen Romo play like a great NFL quarterback. I'd trust him more.