Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC East [Print without images]

Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Did Romo forget what down it was?

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


I spent a good portion of the morning looking at video that seemed to indicate that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo thought he had another down left after he threw an incomplete pass in the end zone with 1 second left on the clock in Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Broncos. The video was captured by photographer Larry Rodriguez who shoots for the Fox affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Here's what ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon said about the play earlier today. After reviewing the footage several times, it looks like Romo must've forgotten about clocking the ball on second-and-goal from the Broncos' 2-yard line. He appeared to be trying to get his teammates to line up and then he was shown holding up three fingers to the officials as if to tell them the previous play had actually been third down.

In watching the video, you can see the moment when Romo appears to realize the mistake he's made and shouts something in frustration as he trudges off the field. On Monday, coach Wade Phillips told reporters that they'd have to ask Romo about what happened. He said everyone on the sideline knew the final pass to Hurd occurred on fourth down.

Romo isn't scheduled to talk to reporters until Wednesday or Thursday. Here's the major issue: If Romo possibly thought he had an extra down, did he unload the ball sooner than he otherwise would have? I have a hard time believing that because it seemed like everyone in the stadium pretty much thought there was only time for one more play -- no matter what down it was.

I should point out that Clarence E. Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was first to report this story.