Home » Blog » Romo, Offense Not The Problem In Dallas

Romo, Offense Not The Problem In Dallas

One interception marred Tony Romo's performance in Week 5.

One interception marred Tony Romo’s performance in Week 5.

Despite throwing for a career-high 506 yards and five touchdowns, Tony Romo’s Week 5 performance will be remembered for an untimely fourth quarter interception that cost the Dallas Cowboys the game.

The pick came with the score tied at 48 apiece and with just 42 seconds left in the game. The Denver Broncos took the ball as far as the Dallas 1-yard line before Peyton Manning took a pair of knees and Matt Prater kicked a game-winning 28-yard field goal as time expired. Cue an onslaught of the all too familiar Romo bashing.

On Wednesday, Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin came out in support of the oft-ridiculed quarterback.

“People will say, ‘Tony Romo throws the interception and we can’t win the big one’,” Kiffin told the media. “But don’t put that on him; you can put that one on me. Don’t put that one on Tony Romo. We got to play better. We do.”

Kiffin wasn’t the only one to voice his support. On Monday’s edition of Monday QB on CBS Sports, ex-quarterbacks Phil Simms, Rich Gannon and Steve Beuerlein all spoke up for Romo , with Simms lauding his passing (25/36, QB rating 92.1).

While Cowboys fans might not like to hear it, Kiffin, Simms et al. are all correct. Romo wasn’t the reason the Cowboys lost to the Broncos. In fact, Romo isn’t the reason the team is 2-3 heading into Week 6.

On the season, Romo has thrown 13 touchdowns, tied with Phillip Rivers for second best in the league. Only the record-breaking Peyton Manning (20 TDs) has more. Romo’s two interceptions has him tied with Michael Vick for the best record in the NFC, with only Manning (1 INT) trumping him in the league standings. Romo’s 71.8 percent pass completion is third best in the league, behind Manning (75.8%) and Rivers (73.7%). And all of this comes after having been sacked 13 times.

Offensively speaking, the Cowboys are ranked seventh in the league in passing (285.0 YPG) and 10th in total yards (377.2 YPG). Only Denver (46.0 PPG) has averaged more points than the Cowboys (30.4 PPG).

The Cowboys’ weakness on offensive comes in the running game. The team is averaging just 92.2 yards per game on the ground, which ranks them 20th in the league. Still, that’s an improvement on a season ago when the team averaged an anemic 79.1 yards per game, good enough only to better the Arizona Cardinals (75.3 YPG).

But even the Dallas rushing attack isn’t to blame for the loss to Denver or a 2-3 record. That responsibility lies solely with the defense.

Schedule_DAL_wk6The Dallas defense has given up an average of 409.2 yards per game, ranking it 28th in the league. That includes 326.4 yards per game through the air. Only the Denver Broncos – who force teams to play catch up – have defended the air worse, allowing 347.0 yards per game. This has led to the team giving up 27.2 points per game, which ranks the Cowboys 22nd in the NFL.

The defense has however allowed just 82.8 yards per game on the ground, which is good enough for fourth in the league. In fairness though, of the five teams the Cowboys have faced, only the Kansas City Chiefs have a legitimate running game.

Kiffin is right then. The defense needs to step up if the Cowboys are to win on a weekly basis and emerge as NFC East champions. They’d do well to start this Sunday night against the Washington Redskins, a team that gashed the Cowboys for 66 points in two meetings last year.

Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys odds for 10/13/13 are available now.

Dallas (2-3, 2-1 home) will look to avenge last season’s Week 17 loss to Washington (1-3, 1-1 road) that cost the team a trip to the postseason. This Sunday Night Football will come live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30.

After a 0-3 start to the season, the Redskins secured their first win of the season a fortnight ago against the Oakland Raiders. Mike Shanahan and Co. have now had two weeks to prepare for their arch rivals.

Prior to last season’s pair of losses, the Cowboys had won three straight and six of the last seven against the Redskins, dating back to the 2008 season. The Cowboys lead the all-time head-to-head series 62-42-2.

Dallas (-220) opened as favorites over Washington (+185) on the moneyline and have narrowly stretched that lead.

The spread opened at 5.5 and has grown to 6 as the week has progressed. With 72 hours or so left until kickoff, there’s still time for that to stretch further.

Dallas (4-1-0 ATS) has fared well against the spread this season and has covered in all three games played in AT&T Stadium. Washington (1-3-0 ATS) meanwhile has struggled to cover. However, the team’s one success against the spread came in Week 4’s road win over Oakland.

Bettors might want to hold off on backing the Cowboys to cover though. America’s Team has failed to cover the spread in eight of the last 10 meetings between the two teams. The last time the Cowboys were successful was December 2009.

The over/under opened at 52.5 and has stayed constant since. Dallas (3-2-0) has marginally favored the over this season, and has seen the marker breached in the last two games. Washington (2-2-0) has split the over/under evenly, with the last two games seeing the total go under. The total has gone over in four of Washington’s last six visits to Dallas.

For a full list of Week 6 NFL odds, click here.

For a full list of NFL Futures, click here.

For NFL team prop bets, click here.

For NFL player prop bets, click here.

  • 100%