Just Can't Hide Any QB Deficiencies

catching this one but getting stripped of the ball at the New York 5 after the Giants had complied by losing their first fumble of the year at the 16. And when in the pocket under heavy pressure made a bad decision by throwing to a covered Witten and getting picked off a second time, setting up the Giants for their third touchdown and a 21-7 lead, that was it for Johnson.

For this game, and unfortunately for the 40-year quarterback, maybe for the remainder of the season as Romo's immediate backup.

Sad enough, maybe even for his career.

The Giants seem to have a way of ending the careers of Cowboys quarterbacks. Danny White was never the same after breaking his wrist right here at Giants Stadium in a 1986 game he couldn't finish and Drew Bledsoe never threw another NFL pass after getting intercepted by the Giants in the end zone just before halftime of that 2006 game when Romo entered the scene at Texas Stadium.

Now Johnson.

When quizzed about where the Cowboys go from here at backup quarterback, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who agreed with the decision to start Johnson this third time, said, "For the year, my gut right now, is getting Romo back and having him stay healthy."

In other words, he's taking that knee in prayer, too.

"To the backup quarterback for the future," Jones continues, "that's another story," and suggested Bollinger did a few positive things after his disastrous start to possibly be competitive in that picture.

But as for now, like when Romo returns, Jones didn't hesitate to say, "We'll have to look at that, how we backstop that if there is another Romo injury."

Unfortunately at this time of the year, you have what you have, and it's a tad tardy to go looking for an alternative. As Bill was wont to say, you can't find these guys at Texaco. It's either Johnson or Bollinger, who promptly threw an interception on his first attempt - the second play of the second half - to allow the Giants to eliminate any confusion about who was going to win this game with a layup touchdown two plays later for a 28-7 lead.

And this could have grown even worse before it actually did had the Giants not lost another fumble at the Cowboys 25 following more shaky play from Bollinger.  After Bollinger's interception, the Giants' third of the game to go with four sacks, the Cowboys quarterbacks nearly had as many interceptions (three) as they had completions (five) and more combined interceptions and sacks (six).

If this all does not make you sick enough, here's what is worse: Had the Cowboys even received an average performance at quarterback, this game was sitting there for the taking. I mean, look, the Cowboys were beaten by a team committing one less turnover (three), just one less penalty (eight) and just 17 more net passing yards (119).

They were at the Giants 25, trailing just 7-0, when Johnson was first picked off. Sure they trailed 14-7 after Mike Jenkins' interception return for a touchdown, but had moved to their own 40 when Johnson was picked off again, setting up the Giants' third touchdown.

After all that talk all week from the Giants about how they "hate" the Cowboys, they were actually being somewhat obliging here.

"Yeah, I think we could have been more competitive if we played better at backup quarterback," Jones said.

They could have, too, if they would have owned the ball more than the measly 9 minutes, 2 seconds in the first half and not finished the game with nine of 12 possessions consisting of no more than four plays. That will wear out a defense.

So yes, the Cowboys do pray Romo returns, because now in his absence they have scored 14, 13 and 14 points. They have netted passing 217 yards, 102 and 102; been intercepted six times; and been sacked 10 times.

"It's kind of sickening, we can't move the ball," Patrick Crayton would say.

So that they lost two of the three without Romo and plummeted into last place in the ultra-competitive NFC East, a full three games in the loss column behind the NFC-leading Giants (7-1) then should come not as a shock.

If there

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