At 5-5, the Cowboys are no longer on top of the NFC East, but they are not in a poor position, either. The bye week could not have come at a better time for the Cowboys. They need to get healthier on defense and they need a way to get Romo going.
Since the 51-48 loss to the Denver Broncos, the offense has struggled. The Cowboys have not been able to duplicate whatever rhythm they had against the Broncos against less-than-stellar defenses from Washington, Philadelphia, Detroit and Minnesota. It all came to a head against a better defense in New Orleans, where they failed to convert on nine third-down tries.
Last year, the Cowboys got on a three-game winning streak after Thanksgiving in large part because Romo got going. He threw six touchdowns to just one interception in wins against Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Twice he had more than 300 yards passing. Twice he completed more than 71 percent of his passes. Twice he had passer ratings of better than 110.
Romo started off the season as hot as he had ever started a season. He was completing 70 percent of his passes, throwing touchdown passes and avoiding mistakes. (Yes, everybody can bring up the interception against the Broncos, but when an offense scores 48 points, the quarterback's team should win).
Calvin has chosen Jason Garrett, which is a good choice. The head coach's job is on the line in a lot of ways. Garrett admitted he has spent more time with the offense during the past few practices. That's a good thing. When Garrett was calling plays, the Cowboys could put up yards, just not points. This year, they can't put up yards but they are doing a nice job with the points per game. If they can mesh the two, then they will win the NFC East.
But it's not about who calls the plays. It's about the plan. Romo must take over. He's shown the ability to do that before. He was the reason the Cowboys were in contention for playoff spots in 2011 and '12 and played a big part in the reasons they did not beat the New York Giants or Washington Redskins.
Romo will have the ball in his hands on every offensive snap. He dictates where this team goes. Jerry Jones showed his faith in Romo in the offseason. Now, it's up to the quarterback to deliver.