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Mailbag: Were The Play Callers Or Romo More To Blame?


I want to know why the media and a large portion of fans are blaming Romo? Sure, he audibled into a pass that led to an INT. But everyone is going to make one bad decision per game. It seems to me that if the play calling had not been so horrid and the offense had been running the ball like they did the first half, Romo would not have been in that situation in the first place. The offensive play callers made MANY mistakes to Romo's one. Aren't they the ones to blame?

David: It "comes with the dinner," to steal Jason Garrett's line. Romo is the face of the team, and he's also incredibly well-compensated for his services – which applies to almost all quarterbacks. The $20 million price tag is going to come with a lot of expectation, and a lot of indignation if you make a mistake. There is a long list of people who contributed to that loss, but Romo is the only one on that list who touches the ball 50 or 60 times per game. Quarterbacks receive a boatload of credit when things go well, and a boatload of criticism when things go poorly. It's probably not fair, but it's what you sign up for when you decide to play the position.

Rowan: You're right that he didn't have to be in that situation in the first place. In truth, there's a lot of blame to go around. Romo clearly has a decent amount of say in the offense and what play will be ran, the amount of which can be argued. If he had checked out of five or six more running plays during the course of the game, would that change your opinion? I think a lot of what happened in the second half is more on coaches' play-calling, so the majority of the blame should probably go there. But he's also part of that process, and the veteran quarterback should know he needed to stick with the run on that play.

Do you think that Rob Ryan was fired unjustly because of the injuries he encountered when he was defensive coordinator in Dallas? Does Monte Kiffin get the same pass? Should Jason Garrett get the same pass?

David:I don't know if "unjustly" is the right word. In a league like this, where the 2-14 Kansas City Chiefs of 2012 are playoff contenders one year later, I think missing the playoffs is always a bad sign for your job security – regardless of circumstances. I think Ryan was made into a bit of a scapegoat to offset the disappointment of falling short, but I also don't think it's fair to look at his success in New Orleans as an indicator of what would have happened had he stayed in Dallas. [embedded_ad] There's no way to accurately predict that. Having said all that, I don't think there's any way to justify keeping Kiffin short of a miraculous Super Bowl run – not with the way his defense has performed. Garrett, I think, still has a decent shot to keep his job depending on how these next two weeks play out.

Rowan: I think most people were surprised that he was fired so quickly after the season as one of the scapegoats after a poor finish, myself included. The defense didn't play well and didn't create turnovers, but they were also decimated by injuries and weren't in discussions about being the "worst defense ever." If Ryan didn't get a pass for the injuries that severely hampered the defense at the end of last season, then neither should Kiffin this year. I think at this point Kiffin's in much hotter water than Jason Garrett, who still could keep himself around with a strong finish to the season. If they tank the last two games though, all bets are off.

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