Two quarterbacks who play for franchises in Texas can never seem to catch a break, no matter what they do. Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys and Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans are always the scapegoats for their respective teams. Fair or not, that is how it often goes for these two quarterbacks.
The pair were the center of scrutiny this past week. Let’s start with Romo’s career game against the Denver Broncos in which he threw for a career high and franchise record 506 yards and five touchdowns. Read those numbers correctly and give it time to settle in. However, Romo also threw a late-game interception that would eventually cost the Cowboys the game as they lost 51-48 to the Peyton Manning-led Broncos.
Romo was flawless for 57 and a half minutes, but that interception is the thing being talked about the most. This isn’t anything new from Romo, but does the blame go solely to him? That is debatable, doesn’t the defense deserve a lot of the blame? They gave up 517 yards and 51 points!! The Cowboys got off to a great start due to two great defensive plays as they took the lead 14-0 in the first quarter. Romo led Dallas to 48 points, which would usually be enough to win a football game, but not this past Sunday. Romo was going toe-to-toe, blow-for-blow with Peyton Manning, who is putting up video game-like numbers this season.
It seems that Romo always does great things, until it matters the most. Cue the playoff game in 2007 against the Seattle Seahawks where he botched the field goal snap? Of course every ounce of blame went to Romo. He is labeled as a “choker” no matter what he does. The three-time Pro Bowler has a 1-3 record in the playoffs. Since he was drafted in 2006, Dallas has made the playoffs three times. This season he has passed for 1,523 yards, 13 touchdowns and two interceptions, but one of those interceptions is one that will get a majority of attention.
Then you have Matt Schaub; whose recent blunder also came on Sunday or the past four games, depending on how you look at it. Last night against the San Francisco 49ers, Schaub threw a pick-6, which marks the fourth week in a row that he has done that. That is an NFL record, he has seen his jersey burned by fans and a restaurant in Houston offering a “Matt Schaub Special” hamburger where you can pick six toppings. Last week against Seattle, with the Texans leading late in the fourth quarter, Schaub threw a pick-6 to Richard Sherman to tie the game. The Texans wound up losing the game in overtime.
The Texans are 2-3 on the season and underachieving as several pundits pre-season Super Bowl contenders. Their recent loss to the 49ers, a 34-3 drubbing wasn’t something to be proud of. Schaub will get the bulk of the blame because he has thrown a pick-6 in four consecutive weeks. Shouldn’t the defense get a bulk of that blame? In the game against the 49ers, the Houston defense gave up 27 points (not counting the Schaub interception for a touchdown).
Houston, (an expansion franchise back in 2002) has made great strides in recent years, becoming one of the premier teams in the league. However, the team has yet to make the extra step in the postseason. In 2011, the team won the AFC South and made the playoffs for the first time since becoming the Texans in 2002. Unfortunately for Schaub, he was injured and did not play in the playoffs. The Texans defeated the Cincinnati Bengals before losing to the Baltimore Ravens. Last year the team once again won the AFC South and won its first playoff game, also against the Bengals. Then they met their match against the New England Patriots, where they would bow out 41-28. Schaub didn’t play bad as he threw for 343 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but the blame in a sense went to him again. The team lost four of its last six games to end their season.
Romo and Schaub are capable of putting up terrific numbers, but will always be criticized for the mistakes they make. Although they have two completely different styles and teams around them, Romo and Schaub are essentially the same quarterback, just in different conferences.