Cowboys circling their wagons around Romo

The Dallas Cowboys have spent the week throwing all their support behind quarterback Tony Romo, who fell on the sword taking the blame for Sunday's loss to New York Jets. Romo has received local and national criticism in Lebron-like fashion ever since he and the Cowboys let that game get away late in a 27-24 season-opening defeat.


When Romo finally got a chance to talk for the first time since his fumble and interception in the final 10 minutes cost the Cowboys a chance at victory in New York, he vowed to learn from mistakes and not let them happen again.

To that end, Romo said he can't wait to get back on the field Sunday against the 49ers, who will host the Cowboys at Candlestick Park in a key early test for the team under new coach Jim Harbaugh.

"I can't get back on the field fast enough," Romo said. "You need to come back from it and play really good football going forward for an extended period of time. That's the only way to make up for it."

The problem with Romo promising to make up for it is his history of past failures in the clutch, namely the fumble against Seattle in the 2006 playoffs and the interception against the Giants in the 2007 playoffs.

While he is 39-23 as a starter since taking over in 2006, he is 1-3 in the postseason.

"You're going to be defined by those things until you succeed, until you win a championship, until you go out there and perform on that level," he said. "I understand that. That's part of playing this position, part of being the quarterback for a football team in the NFL. I accept that and I know that, and that's why I work as hard as I can and that's why going forward that it will be different than it was last Sunday."

The Cowboys as a team have been very supportive of their quarterback. They say they still have faith in him in the clutch and they are not worried about him bouncing back from last week's misfortune.

"Clearly, Tony has demonstrated the ability and the performance level for us to trust him. He is an awfully good football player," coach Jason Garrett said this week. "He understands that you have some successes or you have some things that don't go your way. You have to strap it up and go the next week. He has done a very good job of that throughout his career. He is somebody we trust a great deal."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also remains firmly stationed in Romo's corner.

Jones not only remains behind Romo, he thinks Romo was the best he's ever been against the Jets, at least until the fourth quarter.

"This may draw a little criticism, but I thought Tony played one of the best games I've ever seen him play," Jones said during his appearance this week on on KRLD-FM, the team's flagship station. "You can make a big case that the way he played for three quarters was how we got there at the end and looked like for sure we were going to get the win. But he played outstanding."

Of course that was before Romo's fourth-quarter meltdown that led to the Cowboys' demise.

Jones said the Cowboys remain firmly behind Romo and will be for the foreseeable future.

"He's a winner," Jones said. "We are going to rise and fall based on what Tony Romo's about over the next several years, and I'm excited about that. We've got someone here that can, if we can get some other things together, we can have a team that gets us in position to have a shot. This isn't to pat him on the back or make him try to play better. I just want everyone to know how much confidence we have in his ability to win ballgames for us. He's one of the two or three best assets that we've got to get where we want to go."

Jones admitted that Romo's confidence can be his undoing sometimes, causing him to take a risk like he did in throwing the game-turning interception rather than settling for the safe play.

But Jones said the Cowboys remain confident on Romo's ability to win games because of his increased knowledge and command of the game.

"He has outstanding command of the game," Jones said. "He is very involved in what we do on offense. When you got somebody that can master it you got something special. He is close. Don't drop Romo, he's going to be our ticket."

Romo said he has no problem with the criticism that has come his way. He said he has heard it all before and understands that it comes along with the position.

He says he can handle it and will not cower in the moment. He's ready to face it head on.

"Anyone who thinks that I'm going to fold up the tent around here or this team is, they don't know us very well, and this team is going to come back with great energy this week," Romo said. "I'm going to come back with great energy and we're going to play good football going forward, and I'm excited about the 49er game, and I just can't wait to get out on the field this week."

In talking with 49ers writers earlier this week, Romo almost guaranteed that things would be different for him and the Cowboys in Week 2 than they were against the Jets in Week 1.

"It was disappointing and frustrating to lose that football game," Romo said. "We have to put that one behind us and I have to come out and play my best game this week and make sure that what happened last week doesn't happen again and I'll do that. I'm going to make sure of that."


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