Tony Romo couldn’t do much to help Cowboys’ offense get going against Saints

Posted Monday, Nov. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The Dallas Cowboys want more Tony Romo this season.

Through the good and the bad, they had him Sunday night.

In a rocking Mercedes-Benz Superdome, he was outshined — severely — by one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks.

Drew Brees picked apart the Cowboys defense on his way to 392 yards on 34-of-41 passing and four touchdowns.

Romo left the Dome hanging his head with a season-low 128 yards passing.

“It wasn’t a fun game,” Romo said. “The way the game went, it was difficult. They beat us.”

Romo finished 10 of 24 for 128 yards with a touchdown.

It was the fewest completions Romo has ever had in a game he’s started and finished. It was the second-fewest passing yards he has ever had in a game he has started and finished, with his 127 against the Giants in a 2009 game the only time he did worse.

It was a drastically different finish than the last time Romo saw the Saints. Last season, he finished with 416 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-31 overtime loss.

Despite Sunday’s numbers, Coach Jason Garrett said Romo wasn’t off.

“We didn’t have great rhythm on offense in general,” Garrett said. “We did a good job with the run early with Demarco (Murray), but when you don’t convert those third downs its hard to get in rhythm.”

Romo needed to step up with his defense banged up as much as it was Sunday. He engineered a six-play, 89-yard drive to pull Dallas to within 35-17 late in the third quarter, and he was in good position to engineer another drive after Dallas recovered an onside kick.

It didn’t happen.

Instead, Dallas went three and out. On first down from Dallas’ own 48, he overthrew Cole Beasley. On second down, he was called for intentional grounding, moving Dallas back to its 37.

Romo couldn’t get anything going in the first half. His 20 yards on 3-of-9 passing were a season-worst for a first half this season.

His offense ran 20 plays to New Orleans’ 45 plays in the first 30 minutes.

When Romo threw an incomplete pass to Terrance Williams late in the second quarter, it was only the Cowboys’ 18th offensive play. The Saints had 17 first downs at the time. New Orleans finished with an NFL-record 40.

Romo didn’t even attempt a pass in Dez Byrant’s direction in the first half. Bryant finished with one completion for 44 yards in the game.

“He got double-teamed a lot,” Romo said.

Dallas had to settle on a field goal when a false start and a holding call slowed the Cowboys in the red zone early in the game.

After beating Minnesota last week, when Romo engineered a nine-play, 90-yard drive capped by a 7-yard touchdown pass to receiver Dwayne Harris with 35 seconds left to win the game, Romo still dodged questions.

After a loss like this, he’s only dodging more.

“The game got away from us,” Romo said.

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