NFL Week 5 Winners And Losers: Romo Romo Romo Edition

peyton manning tony romo

"Cowboys QB Tony Romo throws 506 yards in loss to Broncos" is probably the most Romo of all Romo headlines. Just 48 yards away from tying the all-time NFL record for passing yards in a game and having kept pace with Peyton Manning and the record-setting Broncos for four quarters, Romo got the ball back late in the fourth of a tie game, and almost true to form for an overdone narrative begging to move in another direction at this point, he threw a pick that led to the game-winning field goal for Denver.

I've written about Romo as the incomplete hero before, and despite the reputation, he's not this terrible choker that self-combusts on command.

As this in-depth piece from Cold Hard Football Facts points out, Romo and the Cowboys are actually far from that. But this is America's Team which is now America's Team by brand only, and a team that's been average to mediocre in a division that's been average to mediocre for awhile now. The franchise's history, or even Jerry Jones all by himself, invites a lot of schadenfreude towards the Cowboys and, by extension, their quarterback.

The moments like the one yesterday in the fourth quarter when Romo threw the interception can be frustrating and outweigh all the positives that the quarterback is able to bring to the team, like the fact that watching Romo and Dez Bryant in the red zone has been one of the personal highlights of this season or the fact that even at 2-3, the Cowboys are tied for first place in the division, average to mediocre competition notwithstanding.

And maybe because it's gone on for too long, or the numbers actually say otherwise, but it's probably correct to think that the Cowboys would be in a much worse place without their quarterback.

On Sunday, a lot of starting quarterbacks performed so terribly that Josh Freeman (who ended up signing with the Vikings, who of course were one of the teams that didn't play this week) became this imaginary savior to a lot of fan bases around the league. The notion of the grass is always greener is not just a saying; it's real. Freeman has not been a competent starting quarterback for almost a season's worth of games now, and yet, he seems like a viable alternative in so many places. Meanwhile, Romo can have an incredible season and still not change his perception at all.

He might not be what we want him to be, but Romo is a pretty good quarterback. In a strange way, his moments of failure that once defined him are now the ones that are making us stop and appreciate the positives.

Other Week 6 thoughts, or how much will I invest into Jaguars-Broncos next week:

  • The Broncos are now 5-0, they've scored over 50 points in their last two games and next on their schedule are the Jaguars. Everyone's been speculating about how high the point spread will be for this game, and the opening line has been set at the Broncos -28. I'm not going to bet on the actual game, but can I bet on this line going to at least -31 before the week is done? And because we're probably going to get to see Broncos backup quarterback Brock Osweiler in garbage time, I'd love to side-bet the Broncos -13.5 during Osweiler's garbage time. All you need is a Knowshon Moreno garbage-time touchdown followed by a pick-six from [insert whoever is at quarterback for Jacksonville at that point]. Personally, it'd be fun if Floyd Mayweather tweeted out a Jacksonville +28 ticket for a million dollars, just to shake the betting market up a bit.
  • Chuck Knoblauch throwing to first. Rick Ankiel throwing to home plate. Matt Schaub throwing to his receivers. I'm sure I'm missing a few here.
  • Via Nick Wright, Schaub has thrown an interception in eight straight starts and a pick-six in four straight and five of the last seven games. Listen, T.J. Yates is your backup, and on a team that is about contending now, you're going to have to stick with your starting quarterback barring a trade or free-agent signing that seems unlikely. But, situations can be untenable in sports sometimes, and right now, Schaub as quarterback in Houston seems headed there if it's not already.
  • The Colts are officially, officially interesting, since they were already officially interesting before their win over Seattle on Sunday. Also, in two weeks, it's Peyton Manning vs. Andrew Luck in Indianapolis.
  • It's always too early for Super Bowl predictions, but one can dream about Denver-New Orleans. Manning vs. Brees II. All of your story lines.
  • If you write a "Will the Broncos go 16-0?" article, you must also write a "Will the Chiefs go 16-0?" article and "Will the Jaguars ever win a game ever again?" article. I'll pass on all three though.
  • I'll share my preseason wagers with you here, since they're all still in play: Eagles to win the division, Saints to win the division, Bengals to win the division, Falcons under 9.5 wins, Jets under 6.5 wins. All of this to say, can you believe the Eagles are somehow tied for first right now? Football is so weird.

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