Two days after the christening of the North Texas Football Cathedral was ruined by a kick from Lawrence Tynes dropped through the uprights like Al Czervik’s anchor, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones expressed full support of his starting quarterback.
“We have all the confidence in the world in Tony Romo,” Jones said Tuesday, during his weekly radio show.
“You’d like for him not to have a day like that,” Jones said, “but when everybody is pointing fingers, when it
didn’t go good, then you want someone who can walk into that huddle in
the next snap at practice, the next snap in the ballgame and walk out
there and cut and shoot and play like they just won the Super Bowl.
That’s a great quarterback.
“[Quarterback] is certainly a physical position, and you’ve got to
have the physical skills, but, at the end of the day, it’s got to be
someone that has a tough skin, that’s got a high level of willpower,”
Jones said. “Someone that can say, ‘Look, I didn’t play well that play,
that game,’ and come back and play outstanding. . . . The greatest of
them all had many days as rough as Tony had Sunday.”
So we think it’s a compliment. But it also could be interpreted as a subtle warning that Romo had better “come back and play outstanding,” especially since Jones also acknowledged that he was “mad” about the loss.
The other reality here is that Jones has shown in the past (e.g., Terrell Owens) that the things the owner says and the things he ultimately does don’t always connect. In this case, with Jon Kitna and rookie Stephen McGee as the only options behind Romo, Jones needs to hope for the best over the rest of the season.
Absent a turnaround that entails getting to the playoffs and winning at least one postseason game for the first time since December 1996, the fact that Romo threw three interceptions as part of a two-point loss on the night that more than 105,000 crammed into Cowboys Stadium for opening night could prompt Jones to do whatever he must to upgrade the position for 2010, especially since next season ends with the Super Bowl being played in Jones’ new digs.
Until that time comes, Jones won’t be tipping his hand. But, surely, he’s already thinking about whether Romo really is the long-term answer.