IRVING -- Tony Romo has won 41 regular-season games for the Dallas Cowboys. Jason Garrett expects the quarterback to win many more before his career is finished.
But Monday, Garrett found himself in the same position he was in three weeks ago -- forced to defend Romo after a head-scratching loss. Romo's three interceptions directly led to the Cowboys blowing a 24-point lead in a 34-30 loss to the Detroit Lions.
"He's made a number of big throws in some tough situations to allow us to win ballgames," Garrett said. "Unfortunately, he had a couple of games go the other way. I think it's the nature of playing quarterback in the National Football League. You have the ball in your hands a lot with the game on the line, and sometimes it goes your way, and sometimes it doesn't. The best ones, it goes their way more often than not. But even the best ones have games that end like this. Tony will learn from this. He goes about it the right way, and we will be better as a football team because of this."
Nobody at Valley Ranch was at loss to explain how the Cowboys tied for the fifth-biggest collapse in NFL history Sunday. The Lions returned two of Romo's interceptions for touchdowns, and Romo's third pick led to a short field for the Lions to score the go-ahead touchdown.
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Romo was 23 for his first 28 for 234 yards, three touchdowns and a 137.2 passer rating Sunday. After that, Romo was 11 for 19 for 97 yards with no touchdowns, three interceptions and a 32.0 rating.
In his past 10 starts, Romo is 3-7. Four of the losses were games in which Romo had at least two turnovers, including both Cowboys' losses this season.
Yet, Garrett said the Cowboys still have faith in Romo, who has played the past three games with a fractured rib.
"I don't think it's difficult to trust him," Garrett said. "We've had a lot of success in these situations over the last 41/2 years with Tony as our quarterback. Now, have they been a 100 percent perfect? No. But you try to create the environments, and you try to do the things as a coach, to help him be as good as he can be in those situations. But again, it's a team thing. It's everybody together. Tony is a big part of it, because he's our quarterback. But it's the other guys on offense, the other guys on defense and throughout our team."
Romo has 11 fourth-quarter comebacks and 12 game-winning drives. But he is ranked only 21st in the fourth quarter this season, completing 59.2 percent of his passes for 384 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and a 73.9 passer rating.
Garrett didn't dismiss the notion that he might need to rein in his quarterback at times. He also admitted his team should have run the ball more in the second half Sunday.
"You always have to have an understanding of where he is, how he's doing, how he's playing and how he can handle a given situation," Garrett said. "...It's my job as a play-caller to make sure we're putting all our players in the right situation, and that hasn't changed from day one."