- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- After a fourth-quarter fumble and interception in the season opener at the New York Jets, Tony Romo had to hear about how he is always awful in the clutch and will never be a Super Bowl quarterback.
After three interceptions and 24-point implosion against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 2, Romo had to hear about how careless he is with the ball and will never be a Super Bowl quarterback.
This week, Romo has to hear about how Jason Garrett has put the training wheels back on the Dallas Cowboys' signal-caller after last week's loss at the New England Patriots ... and how he'll never be a Super Bowl quarterback.
It can all be so dizzying.
The recent claim that Garrett has trust issues with Romo began with the conservative nature of the game plan at New England, especially the final series with 3:36 to play that saw the Cowboys run the ball on three straight plays and punt.
To the trust crowd, the play calling was a manifestation of Romo's five fourth-quarter turnovers in the first four games. To them, the picture that ran through Garrett's mind was Darrelle Revis' interception that set up the Jets' winning field goal or Stephen Tulloch's pick that led to the Lions' winning touchdown.
Garrett played it safe and then watched Tom Brady answer with an 80-yard drive while completing 8-of-9 passes to lead the Patriots to a 20-16 win on a touchdown pass with 22 seconds to play.
Earlier in the game, the Cowboys had three trips inside the red zone against the Patriots and scored one touchdown. They did not throw a pass to the end zone in any drive.
Was Garrett being conservative because he lost faith in Romo?
Was he being conservative because he felt that was the best way to beat a team that had not lost at home with Brady at quarterback since 2006? Was he being conservative because of an undersized offensive line against New England's beefy interior defensive line?
To Garrett, he was not managing Romo.
"I know that there are different circumstances that come up within a game that you have to manage," Garrett said. "That has a lot to do with many different factors –- your opponent, where you are playing, how good is our offense, how good is their defense, how much time is on the clock."
Garrett has been Romo's playcaller for 56 games since 2007. Romo has thrown for 15,337 yards with 107 touchdowns and 55 interceptions during that time frame.
Would one poor half against Detroit wipe out years of trust? Would one game? Two? Seven? Ten?
"There is absolutely no issue with my trust level with Tony Romo," Garrett said. "Anybody who follows our football team understands that kind of trust and belief I have in him and our football team has in him.
"Playing quarterback in the National Football League, there's a tremendous amount of responsibility that comes with that. Tony knows that and prepares for it. We know that as coaches, and we prepare that each week, and we give him a lot of responsibility on Sunday. And that's the way we like it. He's certainly responded to that really, really well over the last four-and-a-half years, and there's no reason for us to think otherwise."
Romo puts the "trust issue" talk more on being a storyline because the Cowboys lost. He said after the game he was fine with the playcalling and reiterated it again Thursday because of how well the defense had been playing.
"You go by what you're watching and playing with," Romo said, "and I didn't envision their offense going down to score a touchdown either at the time."
Romo threw 41 passes against the Patriots, the second most on the season. He had more than 300 yards in the air for the fourth time in five games. New England's defense did not allow him to throw it deep much, and the offensive line could not protect long enough.
Over the years, Garrett has talked about not wanting to take away what makes Romo ... well ... Romo.
If he has lost trust in Romo, then you'll need more than one game as evidence.
"We believe very strongly in him and I believe very strongly in him," Garrett said, "and we're just going to keep going forward."
Todd Archer covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com.
8mJohn Keim and Adam Caplan