RANDY GALLOWAY: Today, we come to praise Tony Romo

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) arranges his linemen, center Phil Costa (67) and guard Montrae Holland (64) in the first 1quarter.

Star-Telegram/Paul Moseley

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) arranges his linemen, center Phil Costa (67) and guard Montrae Holland (64) in the first 1quarter.

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Nobody else wants to say it, so I will.

I will say it for you, and you, and you.

Thanks, Tony.

Thanks for saving the Cowboys’ season in Washington.

Thanks for covering for Rob Ryan’s defense, which had a total mind-blowing collapse against one of the worst offensive units in all of ball.

Thanks for covering for Joe D’s special teams, which were consistently horrific in every area except for Dan Bailey’s toe.

Thanks for covering for your offensive line, a group that had been coming around lately but lost the manly battle up front to a good defensive unit that we already knew had refused to quit on the Redskins’ dismal season.

Really, is it that difficult to say, thanks, Tony?

When Romo deserves to be blasted, he is blasted, without hesitation, and deservedly so. I am always the first to chip in on the blasting. Not a lot of research is necessary. See the Jets game. See the Lions game.

But Romo is now in the midst of an excellent quarterbacking roll over the past three games, and hardly by coincidence, the Cowboys have won all three.

Except, until Sunday, all the credit went to rookie running back DeMarco Murray, and the Murray factor is certainly deserving of praise. But we all knew this, the same as we knew it in the Dynasty Days, eventually it would all come down to the quarterback making plays when all else around him stood still.

Jan. 17, 1993. Candlestick Park. Aikman to Harper. With that one pass, the Super Bowl runs began.

OK, this ain’t that. These Cowboys aren’t Super Bowl contenders. But to continue the entertainment process, and continue the playoff possibilities, the quarterback had to deliver Sunday in Washington. All else had failed.

Romo consistently delivered. Delivered on three clutch throws, all of them on third down, all under duress, and all happening because he created his own time.

Two of those passes went for touchdowns, one to Laurent Robinson early in the fourth quarter to tie the game 17-17, the next to Jason Witten to provide a 24-17 lead. And then on third-and-15 in overtime, the 26-yard strike to Dez Bryant on a play when Romo again skillfully escaped pressure.

That last one resulted in the 39-yard field goal to win it.

But wait.

Why don’t we all rip Tony for a penalty that never happened?

As the holder, his attempted timeout call (the Cowboys had already used both OT timeouts) as the play clock was down to two seconds seemed to be a bigger emphasis with many than the game he played at quarterback.

Really?

First, it wasn’t a penalty because the Redskins also called timeout to freeze Bailey.

Secondly, why wasn’t anyone asking why the hell the play clock was down to two seconds at the most critical point in the game? That’s yet another special teams disaster, that the field goal unit wasn’t lined up and ready to go.

Thirdly, it was third down when the Cowboys were kicking.

If, if, if Romo had gotten the 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct (there’s disagreement over what the penalty would have been), I repeat, it was third down. Third and 23.

Bailey wasn’t going to try a 54-yard field goal.

Romo and the offense would have gotten another shot to make up the yardage lost if there had been a penalty. The way Tony was clutching up on third down, I wouldn’t have bet against him.

But there was no penalty, right?

I also could add that your starting quarterback should never be the holder, but that’s a lost argument, although if the Cowboys can carry four kickers on the roster (they actually had four for one game), why not go get a “holding specialist,” too? Yes, I’m kidding, but…

I just thought I would bring it up that Romo played great in Washington, has played great the past three games, and because it’s a game-to-game process for him, we will see if it continues on Thursday with a revived Miami in town for the Thanksgiving Day affair.

Sure, the Cowboys dodged a disaster in Washington.

Somehow, the defense managed to transform Rex the Wreck into Tom Brady.

Somehow, the worst group of receivers in the NFL managed to consistently win downfield matchups, particularly in the middle of the field.

Somehow, maybe the worst offensive line in the league managed to buy time for Mr. Grossman, who, to his credit, was tricky on play-action fakes, freezing the Cowboys defense.

This game was a matchup of Ryan scheming against a very poor offense, while Romo had to overcome a good defense. Tony did. Rob’s guys were pathetic in their failure.

As far as the special teams, we know the Cowboys have no return game, but at least you can stop it on the other end. Joe D, your guys really, really stunk.

Yet, in the end, it didn’t matter. Each week is a new adventure, not just for the Cowboys, but it’s a consistent theme around the NFL. See the Giants against the Eagles on Sunday night. Both teams were awful.

There are no ugly wins for the Cowboys. The Cowboys aren’t good enough to be style-pointing Ws. But in a bad NFC East, they are good enough to be tied for the lead at 6-4.

Thanks for that, Tony.

You saved all Cow butts in Washington.

I just thought I’d mention it.

Randy Galloway

Randy Galloway can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on Galloway & Co. on ESPN/103.3 FM.

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One response

  1. robert a knight | Reply

    we can come to praise him again today.

    Like

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