Cowboys' Romo has to avoid late-game mistakes

The Sports Xchange
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There are two schools of thought in Dallas.

Either you will have to live with Tony Romo's mistakes because they are a part of the same aggressiveness and gunslinger mentality that makes him so good at times.

Or he will have to be fixed.

Owner Jerry Jones subscribes to the theory that Romo will always be Romo and you have to take the good and bad and live with the consequences.

Coach Jason Garrett, however, refuses to accept that position.

He doesn't want Romo to lose the things that make him unique, but he said the penchant for mistakes especially late in games must be rooted out of his package.

"You're always trying to improve," Garrett said. " You're always trying to learn from the situations that you're in. These end-of-game situations in relation to the football are things that he has to get better at and he'll be the first one to say that. We have to find a way help him get better at that and I think he has been better in different circumstances in regards to those things and now he has to make sure he does it on a more consistent basis.

"That's our job as coaches to help him do that. It's ours as teammates, guys on offense and guys on defense, to help him in those situations as well. We have to be better as a football team in those situations. We have to do a better job on offense in the other areas and a better job on defense stopping them and we have to do a better job on special teams creating positive situations for everybody. It's a team thing. Tony will get better and hopefully our team will get better in handling those situations."

With 41 victories in 64 starts with the Cowboys, there is no question Romo has been successful as a starter. But he has only three victories in his last seven starts.

Still, Garrett said he trusts Romo to lead this team.

"I don't think it's difficult to trust him," Garrett said. "We've had a lot of success in these situations over the last six years with Tony as our quarterback. Now, have they been 100-percent perfect? No. But you try to create the environments, and you try to do the things as a coach, to help him be as good as he can be in those situations. But again, it's a team thing. It's everybody together. Tony is a big part of it, because he's our quarterback. But it's the other guys on offense, the other guys on defense and throughout our team."

But his late-game issues, especially in close games are starting to be a concern, especially when you look at the big picture.

He is ranked 21st in the fourth quarter this season, completing 59.2 percent of his passes for 384 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and a 73.9 passer rating.

Romo is only 20-22 in games decided by seven points or less with a 87.2 passer rating. Romo is also just 23-21 in December/January games with 10 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Garrett acknowledges that if Romo doesn't get better in late-game situations it will affect his play-calling and he may have to reign him in.

"You always have to have an understanding of where he is, how he's doing, how he's playing and how he can handle a given situation," Garrett said. "It's my job as a play-caller to make sure we're putting all our players in the right situation, and that hasn't changed from day one."

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