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February 16, 2013

Tony Romo tried to do too much at times last season, his QBs coach says

Tony Romo nearly became just the fifth quarterback in NFL history to pass for more than 5,000 yards in a season. He finished with 4,903, ranking him third in the NFL. He also completed 65.6 percent of his passes and threw 28 touchdowns.

Some of the numbers look really good. But Romo wasn't one of the six NFC Pro Bowl quarterbacks for a reason. (Matt Ryan, Robert Griffin and Aaron Rodgers did not play in the game. Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Eli Manning did.)

Romo tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with 19, three of them coming in the win-or-go-home game against the Redskins in the regular-season finale. Romo also lost three fumbles last season, making him accountable for 22 of the team's 29 turnovers.

Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson said some of Romo's turnovers can be traced directly to the quarterback trying to "do too much" to make up for, among other things, a non-existent running game and a porous offensive line. 

"I think that happened a lot this year, that he tried to do too much," Wilson said. "He tried to make up for mistakes and trying to convert third-and-longs. It leads to bad plays."

It is a fine line with Romo, Wilson said, because Romo makes so many great plays out of nothing. But sometimes his gun-slinging abilities backfire on him.

"It’s certainly a double-edged sword with him, because he will make some mistakes, and he can create some plays and really cover up for some warts that we do have and give us a chance," Wilson said. "Now, he has to balance that and manage that a little bit better than he did last year. That’s always going to be the emphasis."

Since starting his career 38-17, Romo is 17-21 as a starter the past three seasons. He is 1-6 in win-or-go-home games in his career, including the 28-18 loss to the Redskins on Dec. 30.

With the Cowboys coming back in Washington, Romo threw a soft swing pass toward DeMarco Murray in the left flat that Redskins linebacker Rob Jackson intercepted. It was Romo's third interception and spelled the end of the Cowboys' chances to extend their season. Wilson said it was both a bad decision and a bad throw by Romo.

"He got pressure in his face," Wilson said. "He didn’t quite get enough on the throw. I think if he leads the back, he has a chance to make a good play, but he just got the pressure in his face and didn’t see it and underthrew him."

Romo, soon to be 33, has one year left on his contract. The Cowboys will work out an extension with Romo to lower the $16.8 million charge on their 2013 salary cap. 

-- Charean Williams




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