If you didn’t think Tony Romo had one more heartbreak to handout on Sunday afternoon, then you were probably born yesterday. The rest of us have been jaded by experience.
The weight of the moment is analogous to the Romo we see. Sweaty, nervous and fidgety Romo initially popped his head up during the final play of the NFC’s 2007 Wild Card Playoffs after his superb breakout season. At the time, his poorly timed fumble was believed to be an aberration.
Since then, Romo has carved out a niche in the NFL as the Bizarro-Tebow. Back when he was Broncos quarterback, Tebow would usually lead one or two scoring drives in four quarters, but as long as they came in that fourth quarter, that’s all anyone remembered. Romo painted his masterpiece, but all anyone will remember is the smudge on his signature.
When the pressure kicks up a notch, his brain shuts down like Congress. The worst aspect of Romo’s vanishing act is his timing.
We were lead to believe he was Arlington’s Joe Cool. Instead, the $100 million Cowboys Casanova turns into a nervous virgin around his high school crush whenever he finds himself in a pressure-packed situation. He starts stumbling over himself and completely kills his chances. It’s expected at this point.
Speak of the devil and he shall appear. Romo was flawless for most of Sunday afternoon. However, with Peyton Manning toying with Dallas’ defense, Romo had to pull out the victory for one last drive.
For 57 minutes, Romo provided hope that the Cowboys would sink the Broncos. Romo torched the Broncos befuddled defense for 506 yards and five touchdowns. He had done the impossible and outdueled Manning. However, the scoreboard didn’t cooperate with Romo. The score was tied at 48 when the Cowboys offense trotted onto the field with the chance to shred the Broncos defense one final time.
Despite, the sun beaming down on Cowboy Stadium, when things appear to be going right for Romo, there’s always an approaching fog of gloom and a 75% forecast of rain on the Cowboys picnic.
This is the part of game where Romo throws his 1st INT
— Tom Tebow (@IamEvilTebow) October 6, 2013
The best thing about Romo's big number day? No interceptions. Did you hear that @Picks_Of_Romo? You've been quiet.
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) October 6, 2013
Romo has played an awesome game. Yet this is still set up perfectly for a game-ending pick-six.
— SportsPickle (@sportspickle) October 6, 2013
This is typically when #Romo implodes. He is having the game of his life and needs to finish. Let's see if he can take the next step.
— JT The Brick (@JTTheBrick) October 6, 2013
With 2:39 left, Cowboys fans huddled around their televisions hoping for the best and anticipating the worst. Romo’s career has been rife with unfortunate events. A career that’s been so successful has been overshadowed by his turnover Tourette's Syndrome in dramatic moments.
Speak of the devil and he shall appear. This time, the Cowboys demise came in the form of a backbreaking interception into the arms of Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan.
Romo’s mistake allowed the Broncos to run out the clock and kick the game-winning field goal as time expired.
That’s the problem with having the ball in your hands after every snap. Casual fans didn’t notice Morris Claiborne and weak side linebacker Bruce Carter getting burned by Julius Thomas and Eric Decker. Trevathan’s robbery also replaced his unforced fumble on the goal line in the season opener against Baltimore as the most significant play of his career.
The loss dropped the Cowboys into a tie for first place atop the NFC East garbage heap. Romo’s elusiveness in the pocket was exemplified by his Houdini-like escape in the first quarter. However, the key to every disappearing act is reappearing. Romo’s first error occurred with so little time left on the clock that he never had a chance to redeem himself. Instead his historic day ended in despair and with a familiar storyline.
Unlike his Texas Heimlich practice partner Matt Schaub, at least we know he’ll be back in the saddle next week.