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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was direct when asked whether Tony Romo has too much latitude regarding the offense.
"No I don't," Jones said Tuesday morning during his twice-a-week radio show on 105.3 The Fan Dallas-Ft. Worth. "No, not at all."
The question was posed to Jones because Romo threw two fourth-quarter interceptions in Sunday's 37-36 loss to the Green Bay Packers, who rallied from a 23-point halftime deficit.
Jones maintained that Romo has to "take risks" with the ball in order to help Dallas (7-7) remain in the playoff hunt.
"When it basically has to unfold for him out there, the defense gets out of their structure, we get out of our structure on pass routes," Jones said. "All of a sudden, you're into a little more sandlot-type football. In doing so, there's more risk that's involved. Make no mistake about it: With where we are with our personnel, we're going to have to take risks."
Romo changed a run play to a pass before throwing an interception with 2:46 remaining in the game. Coach Jason Garrett said Romo shouldn't have changed the play in that situation under any circumstances, despite the fact the Packers stacked the line of scrimmage.
When it basically has to unfold for him out there, the defense gets out of their structure, we get out of our structure on pass routes. All of a sudden, you're into a little more sandlot-type football. In doing so, there's more risk that's involved. Make no mistake about it: With where we are with our personnel, we're going to have to take risks.” -- Jerry Jones, referring to Tony Romo's late-game interceptions vs. Green Bay
Jones, however, said he agreed with Romo's decision, asserting that the Cowboys needed to show "aggressiveness" to answer the Packers' comeback bid.
"I was for the aggressiveness we showed ... and it can apply to many parts of the game," Jones said. "But in this particular case, aggressiveness was throwing the ball on our end of the field -- throwing the ball in there close.
"Aggressiveness with Romo can mean not throw the ball but buy more time, which increases the chances of having a bad play."
Jones said he understands the decision by Romo and finds fault instead with the quarterback's throw.
After he avoided pressure from Clay Matthews, Romo threw behind wide receiver Miles Austin. If the throw had been a little ahead of Austin, the receiver had plenty of open field to run toward.
"You get a little bit more loop on the ball to the interception that occurred that was going to Miles Austin," Jones said. "You get that thing up in the air, a little more loop on it [and] Miles is still running.
"[Romo] had pressure, he had pressure. He called off the tight end [Gavin Escobar] coming across because he thought theoretically that would bring another linebacker into the position to throw the ball."
Romo's interception led to a touchdown for the Packers, giving them their 37-36 lead.
|Tony Romo's two fourth-quarter interceptions helped the Packers mount a 23-point comeback.|
On the next possession, Romo threw another interception, this time on a pass intended for receiver Cole Beasley.
After the game, Beasley blamed himself for not making the right read on the route.
Romo's pass was behind Beasley, who kept running toward the middle of the field. If Beasley had ran his route toward the sideline, where the pass was directed, he'd have had a better chance of catching it.
However, Jones saw fault with both Romo and Beasley.
"It was probably one you could take back and should take back," Jones said. "But still, I understand. I think it's a toss-up there as to who was at fault there.
"We just got the ball intercepted there and made a bad play. Beasley has a good reason for playing the ball the way he did, the way we read that play, and Romo has a reason for throwing the ball there."