The Bears got back on track with a 34-18 win over the Cowboys on Monday night, putting them at 3-1 on the season. The Cowboys, who started the season with a big win over their division rival New York Giants, are now at 2-2. Considering the NFL is a quarterback heavy league and both teams belong to arguably the toughest divisions in football, Monday night's game was crucial for both Jay Cutler and Tony Romo. Who would answer the call?
Tony Romo matched a career record 5 interceptions in the loss. That should tell you something.
In fact, Romo now becomes the only active quarterback in the NFL with two career 5 interception games, both of them coming on Monday Night Football. It also didn't help that two of his interceptions against the Bears on Monday night went 'pick-six,' with Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman both taking back picks for touchdowns.
Visually upset after the game, Romo acknowledged to reporters that this loss is on him. "Well I have to do my job, that's the first objective….obviously the competitor takes over and tries to make a play…those 17 points [off his turnovers]…I know better than that…I just can't make that mistake…I have to play better."
Romo came out with a bang in the big win over the Giants in week 1, tossing for 307 yards, 3 TDs and 1 pick. Since then, the Cowboys QB has been less than average, posting quarterback ratings of 74.1, 75.1 and now 60.1. Coming into Monday night's game, Romo was ranked 17th in the NFL in QB rating — which is sure to drop even further now. If the Cowboys expect to gain any leverage in the division and make the playoffs, they're sure going to need a quarterback that performs better than Jake Locker, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kevin Kolb — all current QBs that have a higher QBR.
And the road won't get any easier for Romo and his boys in the big D. After their bye week this upcoming weekend, Dallas plays the Ravens, Panthers, Giants and Falcons. Since 1990, teams that have started the year at 2-2 have made the playoffs only 35.3 percent of the time.
Sure, Romo tossed for 307 yards against the Bears on Monday, but the Cowboys are still only 31st in the NFL in points-per-game, only averaging 16.3 per contest. Of course the lack of scoring doesn't help when your quarterback has nearly double the amount of interceptions to touchdowns on the season.
Cowboys personnel, fans and Romo himself all know he needs to step up and deliver. It's his 10th season in the league and 7th season as the full-time starter in Dallas, so one can only think that his leash is only getting shorter. On the other hand, it's not easy to find a talented quarterback that can fire the ball down-field consistently — he just has to be competent.
As for da' Bears on Monday night, Jay Cutler threw 2 TDs on 275 yards passing, Matt Forte played with a sprained ankle and led all rushers with 52 yards, and Brandon Marshall led all receivers with 138 yards and 1 TD.