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Sunday, October 27, 2013
Tony Romo-led offense was off again

By Todd Archer

DETROIT -- Tony Romo had three touchdown passes in a game for the 31st time in his career as the Dallas Cowboys' starting quarterback.

It might have been an historic day for Romo, passing Craig Morton and Ken Stabler for 51st in NFL in passing yards (27,953) and Bob Griese and Stabler in touchdown passes (195), but it might have been the least impressive three-touchdown game of his career.

Romo completed only 14 of 30 passes for 206 yards in the Cowboys’ 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions, and 110 of those passing yards came on touchdowns to Terrance Williams (60) and Dez Bryant (50) in the fourth quarter.

“That was a very good front we just played against,” Romo said. “It felt eerily similar to the Minnesota game up in the dome in the playoffs (in 2009), scheme-wise and a little bit with the way they were able to rush the passer. If you can rush the passer like that in this environment it’s going to be a very tough place to play. You’re not going to be able to get to your progressions and you’re not going to be able to get the ball to certain spots. I thought the guys did a good job as the game went on, giving us a little more time to get to the second and third reads. We were able to exploit that a little bit more.”

Romo completed only 46.6 percent of his passes, the third-worst of his career when he has started and finished a game. For the third time this season he was not able to throw for more than 210 yards in a game. After completing at least 69.4 percent of his passes in each of the first five games, Romo has completed 60 percent, 59.6 percent and 46.6 percent of his passes in the last three games.

He wasn’t sacked for the first time in a game this season, but according to ESPN Stats & Information he was under duress 38 percent of his total drop backs. In the first seven games, he was under duress on 22 percent of his drop backs.

“I thought they did a good job of pressuring the quarterback and winning on the line of scrimmage,” coach Jason Garrett said. “They’ve got some good players up front and Tony had to get the ball out of his hands. We didn’t have the rhythm we wanted in the passing game and they had a lot to do with it.”