Tony Romo appeared all business as he walked around Valley Ranch on Monday afternoon. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback exchanged pleasantries but was in no mood to chit-chat.
It was just like any other day after.
While talking heads debated his performance in a 51-48 loss to the Denver Broncos, Romo hunkered down to start getting ready for Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.
Noise? What noise?
“You don’t turn on the radio, and you don’t turn on the TV,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday. “It’s as simple as that. You watch movies.”
Romo supporters called Sunday’s game the greatest of his career. He threw for a team-record 506 yards and five touchdowns with a 140.0 passer rating.
It arguably topped the 306 yards and five touchdowns he had in a 2006 victory over Tampa Bay, or the 311 yards and two touchdowns he had in a division-clinching victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009, or his 416-yard, four-touchdown game in a loss to the New Orleans Saints last year, or his 345 yards and two touchdowns in a 2011 win over the San Francisco 49ers despite fractured ribs and a punctured lung.
Romo haters called Sunday’s game “The Book of Romo” after his lone interception with 1:57 remaining led to the game-winning field goal for the Broncos on the final play.
Critics harkened back to last season’s three interceptions against the Redskins in a win-or-go-home game, and the three interceptions against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008, and the interception and the lost fumble he had in the 2011 season-opening loss to the New York Jets.
The Cowboys left no doubt which side they are on.
“Romo is a fighter,” Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant said Monday. “I don’t think any quarterback in the NFL takes as much criticism as he takes, and he still goes out there and acts like he hasn’t heard anything. I know he heard. But he doesn’t let it get to him. He goes out there, and he performs the best way he possibly can. We are going to forever back him for it.”
Romo’s record as a starting quarterback stands at 19-24 since the start of the 2010 season. But the Cowboys believe they have better pieces around him now than the past three seasons, with a better offensive line, better weapons and what they hope becomes a better defense.
The Cowboys signed him to a $108 million extension in the off-season because of the faith they have that he is the right quarterback to lead them back to the Super Bowl. They point to Romo’s season so far as further evidence he is a franchise quarterback.
Romo ranks second in passer rating to Peyton Manning with a 114.3, with 13 touchdowns, two interceptions and a 71.8 completion percentage.
“We have an immense amount of confidence in Tony Romo,” Garrett said. “If you watch us play over the last six or seven years, I think anybody will recognize that. We think he’s an outstanding player. I think he showed that yesterday, and unfortunately it didn’t end up the way we wanted to for our football team. But you just have to keep throwing fastballs and keep going, and Tony will certainly do that and our team will certainly do that.”