Romo hanging on in roller-coaster season
Cowboys are on a 3-1 upturn as they prepare to take on 75 Bengals.
IRVING — Tony Romo threw 13 interceptions in the first seven games and has just two since. He was booed lustily in two mistake-filled home losses, then broke Troy Aikman’s franchise record for touchdowns in the most efficient outing of his career.
The Dallas quarterback has used phrases such as “exhausting my brain” while the Cowboys have lived on the edge of the playoff chase, and their penchant for falling behind looked like it might wear out his right arm.
Romo won’t call this up-and-down grind tougher than any other in six years of trying to get the Cowboys even remotely close to a Super Bowl for the first time since the 1995 season. It sure looks like it, though — even sounds like it.
“I constantly analyze what our team needs or what can help our football team, what we may need to change to help what or who we are and what this team needs to do to get better,” said Romo, who is a year away from the end of his contract and now the married father of an 8-month old boy. “That’s always in my brain. How can I do it? How can I help others? You think about it constantly.”
Because of the games and throws that got away, the Cowboys (6-6) may not survive another loss as they begin the final quarter of the season Sunday at Cincinnati (7-5). Dallas hasn’t reached the postseason since 2009, when Romo had his only playoff victory and just the second for the Cowboys since their last Super Bowl win.
If the Cowboys are going anywhere, Romo will probably have to be the one leading them.
One of his classic scrambles and completions was the most important play in a win over Philadelphia that started the current 3-1 stretch. The injury-depleted Dallas defense couldn’t stop the Eagles in the rematch, but Romo kept pace until a big defensive touchdown gave the Cow- boys a cushion.
One of Romo’s two interceptions in the past five games helped Washington take a 28-3 halftime lead on Thanksgiving, but he came back with three second-half touchdowns and had the Cowboys within seven when a defensive letdown put the Redskins back in control.
In the second halves of his past two games, Romo has thrown for 513 yards and six touchdowns with one interception, and he now has 168 career TDs, three more than Aikman, a three-time Super Bowl winner.
“I think more than anything else, he’s taking care of the ball and still making plays,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. “When Tony’s playing his best, he’s able to do that.”