Monday, January 14, 2008

Defending Tony Romo

For the record, I am not a Dallas Cowboys fan. But I do like Tony Romo, and I think the blame he has received for the team's loss to the New York Giants is unfair and misguided. The loss wasn't Romo's fault -- the Giants defense played an outstanding game and their offense didn't lose the game, and actually played pretty well.

In fact, blaming Romo's much publicized trip to Cabo with his famous girlfriend takes a lot away from the excellent game played by the Giants, which is totally unfair to them. They showed up with a game plan that could beat the Cowboys, and it did.

Blogcritics takes a closer look at the distractions that may have hurt the team, and they fall on the shoulders of the coaching staff, not Romo.

What's amazing is that the media chose to myopically — and voyeuristically, for that matter — zero in on Romo's social life while his coaches have gotten a free pass.

Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and assistant Anthony Sparano both interviewed for the Atlanta Falcons' head coaching vacancy, and Sparano has been considered a favorite for the Miami Dolphins job, having been stamped with the Tuna seal of approval. Garrett has interviewed with the Baltimore Ravens and probably won't escape the radar of Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, either.

These men are in for busy off-seasons, to be sure, but they started the job hunt at a bad time, during the bye-week. When Tony Romo was off in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, taking his "mental break," these men were preparing presentations and statistics to use in their interviews.

You tell me what's the bigger distraction: a few days of fun in the sun in Mexico, at a time when you don't even know which team you'll play in the next round, or interviewing for a head coaching position with another franchise? You're either in Cabo or you're not, and it's more likely that Romo spent too much of his time in Cabo thinking about Dallas, than that he was too "distracted" after recharging in Mexico to perform up to snuff. And given that there's only 24 hours in a day, and the season never truly ends for NFL coaches, this means the Dallas assistants were basically splitting time between their roles with the Cowboys and their dreams for the future. The player is taking the same break all of his teammates took. The coaches had to take time away from the team to interview. You tell me which would have a bigger impact.

You can read the rest of the article here.

If anyone knows how unfair the press can be, it's Terrell Owens (granted, he has deserved some or most of his bad press, but he has also been blamed for his team's failure on occasion, and undeservedly). So, I'm not at all surprised to see Owens get emotional in defense of his quarterback -- key quote: We lost as a team.

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