The Chicago Bears may not know who their starting quarterback will be in their Monday night showdown with the Dallas Cowboys, but maybe that’s a good thing judging by the amount of negative ink that has been spilled about Cowboys’ starter Tony Romo going into the game.
Just about all of the focus has been on Romo’s poor December record, and the precipitous dive that his statistics take when he is outdoors in the winter. The Cowboys are 11-15 in games Romo starts in December, and in five career games when the temperature is below 40 degrees, Romo’s completion percentage has dropped to 61%, and he has thrown for 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions in those games.
Even though we’re still four days away from the game, the forecast for that evening doesn’t look promising for either team. The forecasted high temperature on that day is only 26 degrees, with the low that evening dropping down to just five degrees. Add in a 17 MPH wind near the lakefront, and things could be downright frosty for both teams.
Despite those numbers, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News did offer up a defense of Romo in December in this piece. Here is an excerpt:
“The direction of Romo’s arrow does not always determine success. Remember all the injuries the Cowboys’ defense endured in the final five games of last season? The arrow was definitely pointing down on that front.
“Romo actually has some pretty good numbers in December. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is the only other quarterback with a higher December rating the last four seasons. Romo was outstanding last December until a brutal performance against the Washington Redskins in the season finale.”
In that game, Romo was 20-37 for 218 yards and two touchdowns, but it was the three interceptions that he threw that enabled the Redskins to win not only the game, but also the NFC East Division title. The temperature that day, you may ask? 37 degrees at kick-off.
With the Cowboys needing a win to stay ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East race, can Romo overcome his aversion to cold weather and lead his team to victory? The answer to that question will be one of the most important factors going into the game.