I'm not saying bench Romo, but…
Last night's Cowboys-Bears game was a disaster for Dallas. Five interceptions tells the story of how poorly Romo did, but it doesn't belie the horrible miscommunication that plagued the whole offense. The receivers were never on the same page as Romo (someone in the bar where I was watching joked that Romo was reading from the playbook, Dez Bryant from a coloring book), and even though Witten finally had some catches (instead of the dropped balls of the previous three games), it was clear that he was not in sync with his quarterback. Even worse than all that, the running game simply could not get off the ground. Of Dallas's 430 yards, less than 10% (forty-one yards), were gained via rushing.
It's hard to win a football game if you only throw the ball. It's impossible if you combine that with five picks, including two returned for touchdowns.
Some might call for benching Romo, as when Orton, his backup, showed up, he was able to execute plays with finesse and expertise, as though Romo were the backup. Romo's 60.1 QB rating looks like a joke compared to Orton's 137.1. Orton had only one incompletion, more yards per completion, no interceptions, and an equal number (one) of TDs as Romo.
Now, obviously all of that was during garbage time and should be taken with a grain of salt. And of course, anytime you have a backup in, you're gonna treat him like a backup and have him execute simpler, less involved plays. And that is where I think the real solution for this Cowboys team lies.
Frankly, I do not believe that Jason Garrett or Rob Ryan are particularly good coaches. Garrett has room to grow and maybe will be great in the future, but right now he's simply not there. And coaching is, as we've learned from Sean Payton this year, extremely important. It seems that Garrett and Ryan are trying to prove themselves to the overly-harsh Jerry Jones by drawing up plays that are significantly more complex than necessary. The result is mistiming, lack of coordination, dropped passes, failed sacks, and otherwise Washington Generals-style play.
Jerry Jones is too involved in the team. This creates an unreasonable atmosphere in which one man, too old to have adapted properly, controls the destiny of his team. We've seen how that worked in Oakland, and Dallas is rapidly heading in that direction. Jones needs to step back, give more control to others, and allow his team to prosper without his interference.
I don't think benching Romo is the answer. I do believe that Romo has more talent than Orton. But when Orton outshines Romo that spectacularly, you have to ask questions. There are a lot of valuable pieces on this year's Cowboys team, but if they aren't put together properly, they'll explode. As they did last night.