Week 16 – Indianapolis @ Dallas: December dreaming for Romo

Over the course of his career, Tony Romo’s December struggles have been well documented. You knew that when the belts were beginning to tighten after Thanksgiving, Romo’s nerves would begin to show similar signs of strain as the Cowboys collapse cost them a playoff spot.

This year though, Romo has been disturbingly solid, making many wonder if this is in fact the real Tony Romo or if we have been sucked into some bizarre alternate reality where his competence extends into the most critical games of the season.

Coming off the back of solid performances against the Eagles and Bears, you knew that Bad Romo was just waiting around the corner. After all, a victory against the Colts on Sunday would seal the division with a week to spare and keep them in the hunt for a bye in the hyper-competitive NFC playoff field.

They couldn’t do it the easy way could they? Everything was right there for a Romo collapse.

It was seemingly inevitable that the Romo collapse would come in this game and set up a pressure-packed trip to Washington in Week 17 – it was simply a case of guessing which quarter it would come in. Those fans who had taken the first quarter were disappointed, as Romo threw two touchdown passes to put the Cowboys up 14-0.

Fans were consoling themselves with the idea that Romo was simply going to make 2014 one of the more spectacular collapses by building a lead before the interceptions came along.

Thing is, as the second quarter came along, things really began to get concerning. Romo was completing passes to members of his team and they were going for positive yardage. By halftime he had thrown three touchdowns and Dallas had built a comfortable 28-0 lead.

This was far from the expected script; after all, the Colts had already claimed the AFC South and were looking strong.

His day ended after his fourth touchdown throw which made him the Cowboys’ career leader for passing yards, but it felt like his job was only half done. He had built the big lead and put Dallas in the perfect position for success, but the traditional festive fallout had not taken place.

There was no talk from the commentary team about the future of Romo and coach Jason Garrett possibly moving on next season as Dallas looked for a change of pace. How can anybody enjoy Christmas when things we normally associate with this time of year don’t happen?

Thankfully we are assured of a Cowboys’ appearance in January where normal service may resume. Next week they travel to Washington where they will be targeting a first round bye and, with an unlikely series of events, home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

In the meantime, try your best to enjoy Christmas without the normal satisfaction of being able to bash another Tony Romo collapse. It will be hard but you just have to try and get through it.

Dec 21
AT&T Stadium, Arlington TX (91,899)

Indianapolis 0 0 0 7 – 7
Dallas 14 14 7 7 – 42

Passing: Tony Romo (DAL), 218 yds, 4 TD’s
Rushing: DeMarco Murray (DAL), 22 car, 58 yds, 1 TD
Receiving: Jason Witten (DAL), 7 rec, 90 yds, 1 TD
Pigskin Almanac “Going Against The December Script” award: Tony Romo (DAL)

About James Caughlin

Growing up in Brisbane Australia, James got into the NFL during the 2000 season thanks to the Madden NFL video game. His cousins told him to use the Patriots (as a prank on him) but 3 Super Bowls and multiple winning season’s later, he has had the last laugh. Now you will hear him yelling at the TV around 4am on a Monday morning watching every Patriots game live.

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