Putting All This Run Talk Into Perspective

to squeeze in there, and everyone wants to proclaim him some sort of "Jedi." But have that same pass intercepted, and now he's "reckless." You can't have it both ways.

It's just like that Buffalo game in 2007 when Romo stubbornly kept forcing the ball into coverage, unwilling to dump the ball off with those Bills linebackers dropping deep into coverage. He ends up matching the franchise record of five passes intercepted in one game. But because he leads them to the miraculous finish, well, all's forgotten.

Or let's consider this. Andre Gurode sails a snap way over Romo's head against St. Louis, and by time he catches up with the ball snapped from midfield, it's bounding around at his own 17. And after bumbling along with the ball for a while, he finally corrals the pigskin and instead of falling on the ball to cut his losses, no Romo is going to make something out of nothing, and when he somehow does, running 37 yards and for the first down to the St. Louis 46, everyone thinks the guy just walks on water.

But a year later, confronted with a similar dilemma against Philadelphia in Game 2, fumbling the ball from his own three into the end zone, and instead of just falling on the ball for a safety, no Romo is going to weave his magic, picking it up and trying to make something out of nothing. This time, the percentages caught up with him, Brian Dawkins lambasting him, causing a second fumble that this time the Eagles recovered for a touchdown to take a 20-14 lead instead of a 15-14 lead had Romo played it safe.

Young quarterbacks, they will drive you crazy but you can't prevent them from playing quarterback.

Romo left the 2008 season with the perception he threw a ton of interceptions. He threw 14 in 13 games, averaging 1.08 a game. In his record-setting, contract-earning 13-3 season the year before, Romo was intercepted 19 times in 16 games, an average of 1.18 a game. But since he threw a club-record 36 touchdown passes, too, all was forgotten. Same in 2006 when he averaged 1.18 interceptions in 11 games. Cowboys fans were so starved for the next guy to take over for the immobile Drew Bledsoe, the 13 interceptions didn't bother a soul.

Aikman understands all this better than most.

He probably remembers, although would like to forget, being picked off 18 times in each of his first two seasons starting in the NFL and another 10 playing in just 11½ games his third season.

Or take Peyton Manning, and I didn't even realize this until just looking it up: In Manning's first five season's in the league, each year starting all 16 games, his interception totals read 28, 15, 15, 23, 19. And he's going to be a Hall of Fame quarterback.

Or maybe these interception numbers from Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach from his first three full seasons starting (1973-75), and remember, playing in a 14-game season: 15, 15, 16. And how about this: When Danny White set the team single-season record for touchdown passes in 1983, the 29 bettered only by Romo's 36 in 2007, he also was intercepted 23 times.

And I see New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, being touted all last season as a potential NFL MVP, was intercepted 17 times in 16 games, an average of 1.06 a game. Wonder if Saints fans are calling for Sean Payton to hand the ball off more to Pierre Thomas?

By now, you do catch my drift - and Aikman's, too.

Because when his initial answer on the subject didn't appease anyone, he then was asked if Romo hands the ball off more would that make him less reckless or more reckless, since when he does get that seldom opportunity to throw the ball he will press to make the attempt count.

Huh?

Sorry, that was me. This was Aikman, somewhat confused: "I don't know either."

And quite interesting, Aikman then chose to invoke the Felix Jones absence as the biggest affect on the Cowboys offense last year, just as his former teammate and fellow Fox analyst Daryl Johnston did about six weeks ago when saying the Cowboys offense never really was quite the same after losing the rookie's speed and home-run threat one week and Romo for the next three games the

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