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Jones blames December woes on defense, not Romo

Romo AP

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may not be a master of NFL personnel, but he has become a master of the obvious.

His team stinks in December, and he knows it needs to improve.

But the comments from his most recent twice-weekly appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas unfairly have been characterized by some as Jones calling out quarterback Tony Romo.  Consideration of the full remarks shows that Jones actually was calling out his defense.

“We’ve always known that what they remember is what you do in December,” Jones said initially on the topic of his teams struggles down the stretch.  “And I say that with a smile on my face.  But this is usually — hopefully — when you’ve got a team far enough along in the standings that what you do here is your season.  And this is really no exception at all.”

The mischaracterization of Jones’ remarks likely traces to his response to a question about Romo’s 11-15 record in December.

“I think it’s real and I don’t mean to be trite, but you can probably tie that to why we have had disappointments in December,” Jones said.  “It’s hard to build up enough edge to play at that level in December, so you’d better have your arrow going up rather than going down.”

But that’s the closest Jones came to questioning Romo’s performance.  Actually, Jones thereafter was careful to point out that Romo has played very well in December.  Jones said that the defense has let the team down in the season’s final month.

On that point, Jones specifically mentioned his most recent former defensive coordinator.  You know, the one whose new team kicked the Cowboys’ collective butts not that long ago.

“I think when I look at last year there’s no question, I’m gonna talk about Rob Ryan a minute, there’s no question we were rendered almost really helpless as the last part of the season came along to really be what we wanted to be defensively,” Jones said.  “We’re not that way this year.”

So while it makes for a more compelling story (and attracts more click-click-clicks) to say that Jones called out Romo, that simply didn’t happen.

Yet.

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43 Responses to “Jones blames December woes on defense, not Romo”
  1. norseyapper says: Dec 4, 2013 10:43 AM

    And if they fade in December again it will be because the defense is not mediocre, it is bad.
    However, Romo has had some very memorable failures late in seasons as well so let’s just call it a team effort from the GM down to the water boy.

  2. richc111 says: Dec 4, 2013 10:44 AM

    Well at least we know who to blame now. cleared that up

  3. andydaltonsgingereyebrows says: Dec 4, 2013 10:45 AM

    Yeah, cause Romo choking at the end of the year is definitely the defense’s fault! C’MON MAN!

  4. mataug says: Dec 4, 2013 10:47 AM

    My roommate calls Tony Romo the regular season’s Peyton Manning. He’s absolutely clueless that this is game played by 22 men not by 1 guy.

  5. athwartships says: Dec 4, 2013 10:49 AM

    Don’t sweat it, JJ. The team is too far from .500 at the moment, nature will reign them in over the next 2 weeks and get this professionally mediocre team back on even keel.

  6. turtlehut says: Dec 4, 2013 10:49 AM

    Not being a Cowboy’s fan I hope he keeps believing that.

    Maybe even give Romo a contract extension to chew more cap space.

  7. joetoronto says: Dec 4, 2013 10:57 AM

    “And I say that with a smile on my face. I know you can’t see it because my facelift is too tight, but trust me, I’m smiling.”

    Jones said.

  8. dccowboy says: Dec 4, 2013 10:57 AM

    Well, let’s look at overall QB performances in December.

    From 2009 – 2013 there is only one QB with over 200 pass attempts with a higher QB rating in December than Tony Romo (106.3), that is Arron Rogers (109). That’s right only one QB. Drew Brees is 106, Rivers 101.5, Brady 100.5,

    From 2009 – 2013 Romo has 27 TDs & 5 INTs in December games, again only one QB with over 200 attempts has less, Cam Newton with 4.

    Romo is NOT the problem with December losses.

  9. citizenstrange says: Dec 4, 2013 11:00 AM

    Do you remember
    Romo’s 15 losses in December?
    Proving the Cowboys are pretenders
    While chasing the playoffs away

  10. jbeagles23 says: Dec 4, 2013 11:02 AM

    Keep telling yourself that Jerry. Everyone that watches football knows you’re a qb away from being a contender

  11. averagjoe says: Dec 4, 2013 11:03 AM

    As usual, JJ goes a long way to hide what he means to say… which is, “I’ll say anything and blame anyone to protect Romo’s fragile ego”. Blaming Rob Ryan for the performance of an injury decimated defense is as ridiculous as denial of Romo’s historical December meltdowns.

  12. mrwalterisgod says: Dec 4, 2013 11:04 AM

    Great QB’s rise to the occasion. Romo does not do that.

    Elway drug Denver slop to 3 Super Bowls. Romo can’t beat an 8-7 Giants to win the division, and played poorly in that game. I guess we’ll just blame the defense.

    Last year, against Washington, with a medicore defense, Romo needed to step up. He threw several interceptions and failed to step up. Washington won the division. But we’ll blame the defense.

    Romo is, statistically, one of the best QB’s in the league. However, when things aren’t perfect, the pocket isn’t clean, the receivers not wide open, the defense less than imposing- Romo is just another guy.

    The best Qb’s make those around them better. Romo does not.

  13. randomguy9999 says: Dec 4, 2013 11:04 AM

    Jerry, the reason you guys stink in December is Jerry…….. and nothing else

    An owner who micromanages a team as the players are battling late season injuries and trying to get into the playoffs will completely blow it up every time.

  14. hellafiedfc says: Dec 4, 2013 11:05 AM

    Does Romo have a fragile ego?? the Romo apologists and defenders are everywhere these days.

  15. doe22us says: Dec 4, 2013 11:14 AM

    Hey Jerry is a full of himself we all know that, but he is right Romo has always been lights out in Dec, because his D has been so bad that the Cowboys are always in come-back mode. Yes of course choke jobs have occured win and you are in with the Eagles and i think the Giants and they face planted collectively as a team.

  16. 4thqtrsaint says: Dec 4, 2013 11:14 AM

    I’m no Romo apologist by any means, but judging by Monday nite’s game, when receivers don’t get open, no clean pocket, etc, all QBs are “just a guy”. My boy Brees wasn’t good at all.

  17. jpaq68 says: Dec 4, 2013 11:14 AM

    Jerry Jones will never admit that sticking with a choke artist like Tony Romo was a mistake because his ego will never allow him to do so.

  18. tvjules says: Dec 4, 2013 11:19 AM

    Notice the GM and Head Coach are never at fault for anything in Jerruh’s World…

  19. granadafan says: Dec 4, 2013 11:20 AM

    Atta boy, Jurrah. Publicly bash your sensitive QB and then backtrack by publicly bashing and throwing the defense under the bus.

  20. markdamack says: Dec 4, 2013 11:25 AM

    mrwalterisgod says:
    Dec 4, 2013 11:04 AM
    Great QB’s rise to the occasion. Romo does not do that.

    Elway drug Denver slop to 3 Super Bowls. Romo can’t beat an 8-7 Giants to win the division, and played poorly in that game. I guess we’ll just blame the defense.

    Last year, against Washington, with a medicore defense, Romo needed to step up. He threw several interceptions and failed to step up. Washington won the division. But we’ll blame the defense.

    Romo is, statistically, one of the best QB’s in the league. However, when things aren’t perfect, the pocket isn’t clean, the receivers not wide open, the defense less than imposing- Romo is just another guy.

    The best Qb’s make those around them better. Romo does not.

    ————————————————–

    Let’s not account for the fact that he did, pretty much nothing, before Terrell Davis showed up. Or that they didn’t win anything until hey cheated and went WAY over the cap.

    It’s people like you who say things like “I don’t care what they stats say, I go by the eye test” but you arent watching anything.

    How can he have the second best QB rating in december, since 2009 and be an awful QB late in the season?

    The Washington game last year was awful. They were also with out pretty much everybody. They had a 3rd string center starting, they were rotating right tackles, Dez had to leave the game in a wheel chair and was playing with a broken hand, Miles Austin was out, Kevin Ogletree was our only healthy WR other than Beasley and Harris.

    Here’s the diffrence in a guy like Eli Manning, who won two super bowls and a guy like Tony Romo….

    If Romo has a bad game…then that’s that. Game’s over, team loses. There is nothing outside of the passing game that will win them games.

    Eli plays like crap, and his defense can carry him. Not this season obviously, but in the past.

    It’s so painfully obvious that 90 percent of you, don’t watch the games. You don’t pay attention. You just rehash the same old tired cliches’ that media pundits try to throw out there, but have been proven wrong time and time again. Then when proven wrong, you just say things like “He’s just a stats QB’”…or they make up new stats like “Win or go home games” ignoring the fact that, he had to win games leasing up to that, or that “win or go home” game, would’ve just been a worthless game for nothing.

  21. fastspecv says: Dec 4, 2013 11:26 AM

    Well in this case JJ is right. Just look at Romo’s December numbers. Numbers don’t lie. A perfect example of the defense costing us games is the Detroit game. Romo drives us down the field to put us in the lead. The defense couldn’t hold the Lions off with them needing to go 80 yards and having no timeouts and only having a minute of playing time left. The only people who believe that Romo is the problem are Dallas haters and people who just don’t want to admit the truth.

  22. youafool says: Dec 4, 2013 11:42 AM

    Love this guy….what a fool

    Great QB’s rise to the occasion. Romo does not do that.

    Romo can’t beat an 8-7 Giants to win the division, and played poorly in that game. I guess we’ll just blame the defense.

    —————-
    Think on that Giants game think he threw for like 350+ yards and 4tds with no picks. Good call buddy.

  23. 509seahawks says: Dec 4, 2013 11:53 AM

    Go home Jerry. You’re drunk!

  24. guachosporlife says: Dec 4, 2013 12:04 PM

    Miles Austin losing the ball in the lights, Patrick Crayton dropping a perfectly placed ball on his hands…guess he’s also supposed to throw and catch the ball himself. Those plays happened in December, when the Cowboys could have won if they had simply made the play.

  25. 12strikes says: Dec 4, 2013 12:07 PM

    So lets see.
    Last season, last game against Wash for the division
    Romo 3 INT – not sure how that is the defense’s fault

  26. justintuckrule says: Dec 4, 2013 12:15 PM

    Cmon baby!! Need that yearly December collapse out of you guys!! Every game you lose our dimming playoff hopes grow brighter!

  27. str8infamous says: Dec 4, 2013 12:57 PM

    People…the defense is about 50% of the problem, and stop using the injury excuse. Rob Ryan had WAAAYYY more guys in IR & the Def wasn’t as bad as they are now. If they could only hold up in the 3rd-4th qtr Romo wouldn’t be trying to put the team on his back making Farve like throws. The OC/HC also has to get 25-30% blame as well with the idiotic play calls. The rest falls on Romo.

  28. facebook.com/joesimmonscomic AKA Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Dec 4, 2013 1:01 PM

    I’m no Cowboy fan, but they are one of the biggest television draws on TV. So the NFL schedules big games against quality opponents (division and non-division) for them late in the season. That’s the most logical reason for Romo’s and the Cowboys’ failings in December.

    And now I no longer care about this topic.

  29. broncosnative says: Dec 4, 2013 1:11 PM

    Markdamack, one stat for you, romo has 1 playoff win. Oh wait here’s another, tebow has a better playoff win/lose percentage than romo. Ok I’ll give toy one more, grossman, Sanchez and kaepernick all have more playoff wins than romo.

  30. vmannj says: Dec 4, 2013 1:22 PM

    Once again, there’s a lot of FACTS missing from the national media. So, here they are:

    -Since 2009, Romo has the 2nd highest December QB rating in the NFL (behind only Aaron Rodgers).
    -Since 2009, Romo has thrown a total of 5 INTs in the month of December.
    -You want to talk about the December collapse last year? Week 16 the defense gave up 600 yards to the Saints, then 300 rushing yards to the ‘skins in Week 17.

    Sure, it’s exremely convenient to blame the face of the franchise (Romo). But the facts tell a different story.

  31. kmartin173 says: Dec 4, 2013 1:28 PM

    Cause its the defense that throws those pick-sixes?

    11 seasons, 1 playoff win, end of story.

  32. thetroofishere says: Dec 4, 2013 1:44 PM

    In the Redskins closeout game last year, interception summary:

    INT 1 – Kevin Ogletree runs a short slant instead of skinny post. Romo throws it to where he SHOULD be and Kevin walks over with his head down to the sideline knowing he messed up.

    INT 2 – One on one coverage to Miles Austin on the fade route. The pass was terrible but Miles Austin sees the pass underthrown, sees the defender get ready to make the pick and proceeds to get in position to make a tackle instead of committing offensive pass interference to avoid the turnover. Really?

    INT 3 – The Redskins had been running the same blitz all game. The DE/OLB intended to blitz but this one time, he faked and floated back out to the flat when he saw Murray drift out there to make the interception.

    On INTs 1 and 2, can his WRs TRY to help make a play? At all? On 3, it was a better play by the defender rather than poor decsion by Romo.

  33. backdraft824 says: Dec 4, 2013 1:46 PM

    I don’t know how anyone can sit here and honestly blame Romo for all of the Cowboys’ misfortunes in December.

    The defense is terrible. Not mediocre, not bad, but terrible. There wouldn’t even be a game for Romo to “choke” in if it weren’t for his play. He’s the real deal, I don’t blame Jerry Jones one bit for the extension.

    Peyton Manning and Tom Brady wouldn’t of been able to put up the numbers Romo has in Dallas. With that shaky line, they would be sacked 50+ times per year. Romo extends a lot of plays with his legs and literally makes something out of nothing.

  34. Go-Hawks! says: Dec 4, 2013 1:51 PM

    Jerry is the problem.

  35. gavriloprincip33 says: Dec 4, 2013 1:51 PM

    I don’t particularly care for Romo but for the most part he is not the reason my Cowboys suck – that would be Jerruh!

    Skeletor blows as a GM! Great business man though…

  36. markdamack says: Dec 4, 2013 3:13 PM

    broncosnative says:
    Dec 4, 2013 1:11 PM
    Markdamack, one stat for you, romo has 1 playoff win. Oh wait here’s another, tebow has a better playoff win/lose percentage than romo. Ok I’ll give toy one more, grossman, Sanchez and kaepernick all have more playoff wins than romo.

    ————————————————–

    Do you see one thing EVERY one of those QB’s had in common?

    GREAT defenses.

    What was tebow…1-1 in the playoffs? That’s a .500 record right? Well that would put him above Peyton Manning in “playoff win’lose percentage” as well.

    Think brother. Think. It’s a team game. If it weren’t for Romo (and his amazing passing statistics that don’t matter because he’s the Cowboys QB and you’ll ignore all facts to make your point) they wouldn’t be in any games.

    People say he’s a choker, well he’s got more 4th qtr comebacks wins than anyone else since 2011.

    He can’t do it in December? Well his 106.3 passer rating in those games say differently. To put that rating in perspective, it’s more than 10 points better than his norm, which ranks fifth in NFL history

    He’s only thrown 5 interceptions in December, since 2009 and 3 of those came in the last game against Washington last season.

    Want to blame Romo for the December 2011 loss to the Giants when all he did was throw for 321 yards with four touchdowns and no picks? Or last December’s overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints when he threw for 416 yards with four scores and no interceptions?

    Dont worry though, I don’t expect you to let facts change your opinion.

  37. markdamack says: Dec 4, 2013 3:19 PM

    str8infamous says:
    Dec 4, 2013 12:57 PM
    People…the defense is about 50% of the problem, and stop using the injury excuse. Rob Ryan had WAAAYYY more guys in IR & the Def wasn’t as bad as they are now. If they could only hold up in the 3rd-4th qtr Romo wouldn’t be trying to put the team on his back making Farve like throws. The OC/HC also has to get 25-30% blame as well with the idiotic play calls. The rest falls on Romo.

    ————————————————–

    This is another huge misconception that the media, ESPECIALLY during the Saints game this year, loves to throw around.

    Nobody said they fired Rex because he was horrible. First, this will be his first season ever as a coordinator finishing above .500…but that’s neither here nor there. They switched because they wanted to change the entire defensive scheme.

    The only negative thing they said about Ryan, at all, was that his stuff could be a little too complicated (as vindicated by the numerous penalties the defense always had). Other than that, they fully admitted he didn’t have much to work with because of the injuries.

    Also, let us not act like Rob Ryan had it way worse. Rob had Ratliff. Rob had Spencer. Rob had Ware. Ratliff didn’t play a snap this season, Spencer played one game this season, and Ware missed 3 games this season for the first time ever in his career.

    Now, I undertand he missed Lee for a huge chunk of the season, but as great as Lee is what would you rather have? Lee and Ware (each missing three games a piece) or Lee (missing half a season) and Ratliff and Spencer.

    Don’t forget, Spencer was the MVP of that team last year. All in all, both teams had their share of injuries, that pretty much equal them selves out.

  38. mogogo1 says: Dec 4, 2013 3:21 PM

    QB rating in December the past 4 years over 105 and the dude was undrafted so they can’t even complain about spending a pick on him, but everything is always Romo’s fault. When the white jerseys aren’t bright enough, it’s because Tony didn’t put enough bleach in the washer.

  39. BringBackTheFlex says: Dec 4, 2013 4:12 PM

    mrwalterisgod says: Dec 4, 2013 11:04 AM

    Great QB’s rise to the occasion. Romo does not do that.
    ==================

    This is the reason people have such low opinion of sports fans, This statement of yours is ludicrous. By your own definition there are no great QBs – ever.

  40. topcide says: Dec 4, 2013 4:53 PM

    Jerrah may be master of the obivous, but I am master of my domain.

  41. phillyphannnn83 says: Dec 4, 2013 5:31 PM

    Silly me, after reading all these comments, I’ve just come to the realization that Tony Romo has only been the starting QB for the Dallas Cowboys since 2009.

    Way to cherry pick your stats fellas. I guess when people talk about have a perception about a guy, his entire body of work is not relevant. I guess his 5-8 December record pre-2009 means nothing right? That couldn’t be the reason for that perception could it. Neither could all the fumbles and INTs in January. Surely that couldnt be the case. People mean “end of season woes” and just say “December” woes.

  42. markdamack says: Dec 5, 2013 2:35 PM

    phillyphannnn83 says:
    Dec 4, 2013 5:31 PM
    Silly me, after reading all these comments, I’ve just come to the realization that Tony Romo has only been the starting QB for the Dallas Cowboys since 2009.

    Way to cherry pick your stats fellas. I guess when people talk about have a perception about a guy, his entire body of work is not relevant. I guess his 5-8 December record pre-2009 means nothing right? That couldn’t be the reason for that perception could it. Neither could all the fumbles and INTs in January. Surely that couldnt be the case. People mean “end of season woes” and just say “December” woes.
    ————————————————–

    Nobodys cherry picking anything, if anything the people with the opposing opinion are. It’s obvious that in the last 5 years, he has been really really good at the end of the season. People use the same meme from his first 3 seasons as a starter to justify calling him a choker and horrible in the late season.

    If there is a perception out there that he collapses late in the season, it’s because people cherry pick the stats from the very begining of his starting NFL career and base is overall on that. We say “since 2009″ to show you that you have been wrong for 5 years now, and people still vomit the same tired cliche.

  43. whyamiacowboysfanagain says: Dec 6, 2013 8:48 AM

    Jones blames December woes on defense, not Romo
    ********************************************
    That’s funny, Cowboy fans blame December woes on Jones……

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