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Tony Romo, the Anti-Tebow

Perhaps no story in the NFL is bigger this season than Tim Tebow. The way he’s been able to almost will the Broncos to 4th quarter comeback after 4th quarter comeback has been the stuff of legends.

He led them to an 18-15 overtime victory against the Dolphins after being down by 15 late in the 4th. When they trailed the Jets 10-13 and had managed only 134 yards of offense through the first 54 minutes of the game, he drove them 95 yards down the field for the game winning touchdown. Trailing 13-7 against the Chargers Tebow did it again helping his team to a 16-13 overtime win, and down by only 3 against the Vikings, it surprised no one when they ended up winning 35-32. And their 10 point 4th quarter comeback against the Bears last week almost defied logic.

But the world needs balance. If there’s an all powerful force for good, it’s countered by a force for evil. If there’s a yin, there must also be a yang. For every Godfather movie, there has to be a Godfather 3. So if Tebow and the Broncos are The Beatles, who is Yoko Ono? Well say hello to the Dallas Cowboys and Tony Romo, or as Romo might be better known as, the anti-Tebow.

So far this season the Cowboys have blown three 4th quarter leads of 12 points or more. In their first 51 years as a franchise they’d lost a grand total of one game when leading by 10 points or more in the 4th.

They began the year by falling apart to the Jets after taking a 24-10 lead into the 4th. A few weeks later they somehow managed to squander a 24 point lead at home to the Lions, thanks in large part to two Romo interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. Against the Patriots they held a slim 16-13 lead with just over 3 minutes to play, ran the ball three times without getting a first down, then gave the ball back to Tom Brady who predictably led his team down the field for the winning TD. While playing the Cardinals head coach Jason Garrett defied all logic when he iced his own kicker on what would have been a game winning field goal, and the Cowboys went on to lose in overtime.

Yet all that would have been forgotten had they been able to hold on against the Giants last week. After taking a 34-22 lead with just under 6 minutes to play, the Cowboys were in prime position to take a stranglehold of the NFC East. But somehow they fell apart again and now find themselves fighting for their playoff lives.

They’re currently one game behind the Lions for the last playoff spot, and thanks to their previously mentioned 24 point meltdown they lose the tiebreaker. That would mean the Lions would have to lose at least 2 of their final 3 games just to give the Cowboys a shot at the 6th seed.

Luckily for them, and despite all their bumbling, the Cowboys don’t need the Lions to lose 2 of their next 3 to give them a shot at the playoffs. All they have to do is win out. That’s because they have a week 17 rematch with the Giants in NY, or NJ, or wherever the Giants are playing.

However that game probably won’t mean much if they lose tonight against the Buccaneers or next week at home against the Eagles. And while both the Bucs and Eagles are dealing with some real problems of their own, the Bucs having lost 7 straight and the Eagles having lost whatever it was that made them a preseason favorite, the Eagles did crush the Cowboys 34-7 in their week 8 matchup.

A loss to either of those teams will mean the Cowboys will have to hope the Giants slip up in one of their other two games against the Redskins and Jets, both of which will be played at home (sort of since it’s technically a Jets home game). Given how this season has gone for the Cowboys I fully expect them to go into that game tied in the standings with the Giants, and just miss the playoffs after blowing a 21 point 4th quarter lead after Garrett’s bizarre strategy of having Romo take a knee even though there was still 5 minutes to play.

About the Author

Bill is THF's NFC Author

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