Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett celebrates a touchdown as wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) and running back DeMarco Murray (29) leave the field in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium.
Tim Heitman/Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
It seemed out of character for Cowboys coach Jason Garrett to so quickly blame Tony Romo for a critical mistake following Sunday’s loss to the Packers.
It may have been because he was still fuming at his quarterback.
Garrett was asked Monday if he was upset with Romo, and whether he communicated that to the quarterback with whom he’s had a close relationship.
"Yeah, we coach Tony," Garrett said after a long pause. "We coach Tony just like we coach everybody else. We coach Tony with positive reinforcement and with negative reinforcement. We coach everybody on this football team.
"There were a lot of good things in that ballgame, there were some things that weren’t so good. It’s our job as coaches to make sure he understands that, just like every guy on our team, and we make the corrections and move forward."
The heart of the issue was a second-and-six play with 2:50 left and the Cowboys protecting a five-point lead.
Romo was given a running play, designed to milk the clock, but with a pass option. Romo exercised that option and threw an interception after first escaping an unblocked rusher.
After the game, the normally protective Garrett wasted no time in saying that Romo should have stuck to the original run call.
On Monday, Garrett elaborated why Romo was enticed to check to a pass.
"The biggest thing is they took the safety out of the middle and there literally were 11 guys on the line of scrimmage," Garrett said. "When I say ‘on the line of scrimmage’ [I mean] very close to the line of scrimmage."
Garret then said that the game situation should have overridden the desire to change to a play with a better chance of success.
"You could see why he viewed that as an unfavorable [run] look," Garrett said. "But having said that, you hand the ball off and you move on to the next one. We deal with the third down situation and you force them to use their timeout, all of that stuff. "
Romo was not available Monday, but he also said after the game he should have stayed with a running play and not risked an interception.
Garrett was asked how he expects Romo to respond following this latest adversity, which now includes public criticism from his head coach.
"I think he’s going to bounce back well," Garrett said.
Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire