"Oh Romo, wherefore art thou clutch ability, Tony Romo?"
So cried many Juliets and Cowboys fans alike as Romo once again suffered the tragic fall as the Cowboys suffered yet another painful loss in an elimination game in Week 17. Make that now a loss of this kind to each NFC East team over the last five seasons. No matter how you split it, even with the Romo's overall career statistics glistening in the Shakespeare-painted sun, the Big D signal caller cannot perform as needed in the big game.
However, the football masses harken to wrong fateful play when building the anti-Romo argument. It's not the fourth quarter that proves Romo to be ill-equipped to beat the best in a do-or-die situation. Instead, it's the game's first 15 minutes that Mr. Missouri cannot wrangle. His 76.64 career passer rating in the first quarter paints the image of a player who can't start the game strong. Sunday night's debacle proved no different, as Romo's two crucial first-quarter interceptions prevented the Cowboys from building a lead larger than the 7-0 advantage they held late in the first half. If Romo doesn't blow those opportunities, he never needs to pass the ball late in the fourth quarter when his final mistake dashed Big D's playoff hopes.
As Adam Dobrowolski discusses in this week's "Stat Pack" episode, Romo's first quarter play continues to hold back a team that continues to fight with mediocrity. However, Romo is far from the only man holding back the Cowboys. In fact, despite the team's lack of offensive balance or defensive prowess, Romo owns a career passer rating of 100.66 after the opening quarter.
Meanwhile, as the NFL shifts to the postseason, Dobrowolski prepares for the playoffs with a power rankings designed to determine which teams have the best and worst chances to win Super Bowl XLVII. Dobrowolski details some precedent involved from the big game's history, including facts that could dash the aspirations for more than half of the NFL playoff teams.
Don't miss on this info-packed edition of "Stat Pack" on Cold, Hard Football Facts!
For those who are interested in checking out bits and pieces of this week's podcasts, every edition will include a "playlist" of sorts breaking down every segment from the podcast.
0:00 to 32:35 -- Six Pack of Statements
- 1:35 -- Why Tony Romo chokes in the first quarter, NOT the fourth quarter
- 8:55 -- Why the 2012 Cowboys would be a bad team without Romo
- 13:25 -- Which current quarterback needs a playoff win to avoid all-time infamy
- 17:55 -- Which Week 17 game should be remembered as the best game this season
- 20:10 -- Why the AFC and NFC playoffs have the same vibe as previous years
- 24:25 -- Why the Quality Stats match-ups could be misleading this weekend
32:35 to 40:40 -- NFL Regular Season Awards (MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Players of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year)
40:40 to 51:40 -- "To Fire or Not to Fire" (Lovie Smith, Andy Reid, Norv Turner, Pat Shurmur, Chan Gailey, Ken Whisenhunt, Romeo Crennel, Jason Garrett, Jim Schwartz, Ron Rivera)
51:40 to 1:06:45 -- Playoff Power Rankings determines by Most Likely Teams to Win Super Bowl (Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts)