Wake-Up Call: Romo’s Words For Barkley

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Tony Romo‘s first taste of real NFL action came seven years ago this week. It wasn’t pretty.  Going in for the benched Drew Bledsoe in the second half against the Giants, Romo tossed three interceptions —  including a pick six — in a 36-22 loss.

The Cowboys’ overall performance was so bad against New York, Bill Parcells felt compelled to  ”apologize to the people of America” afterwards.


Romo told Matt Barkley about those early struggles following Sunday's 17-3 Dallas win over the Eagles to help the rookie gain perspective. The USC product threw three picks in as many drives in his limited time against the Cowboys.

"He's was kind of smiling and saying his first start he threw three picks," said Barkley "and that to learn to pass you've got to throw it."

It wasn't Romo's first start. That came the following week against Carolina, a 35-14 Dallas win. He ended up going 6-4 that year and has essentially been the man ever since.

"I've been there. We've all been there," said Romo of Barkley's bumpy debut. "Put in a situation at the end of the game where it's your first time out there and I think the emotions of it -- you're excited, a little nervous. There's always things running through you but you're excited about the opportunity and I just told him, 'You gotta go out and let the ball go.' The young guys who end up being successful are the ones who throw it, they see it and they let it go. And eventually they'll tighten all that stuff up. The guys who just stand there and hold it, they don't last very long."

Barkley definitely wasn't afraid to chuck it. He went 11-of-20 for 129 yards in a quarter's worth of action, going downfield frequently. That of course had something to do with the fact that the Eagles trailed 17-3 when he took over.

"It's frustrating to see a kid get thrown into something like that where nothing's going ," said Jason Kelce. "You don't have the ground game going, you don't have the passing game going, seems like the offense isn't going well at all, and then you're going to throw a kid who's only been in the NFL for what, two months now, in live situations. Felt a little bit bad for him but I thought he handled it really well."

It should be noted that Barkley's arm looked stronger than it did this summer. The QB recently admitted that his shoulder was still ailing during the offseason and that it is now feeling much better. It showed, and he looked more comfortable letting it rip.

It has yet to be seen how it will all unfold for the fourth-round pick. He is currently the third quarterback on this 3-4 Eagles team when everyone is healthy, but the injury bug has hit the position. Nick Foles left late in the third quarter with a head injury. His availability for Sunday's game against the Giants is unknown. Michael Vick is still dealing with a hamstring injury. There's a chance that Barkley could end up starting against New York this week.

"I'll take [Romo's story] for what it's worth and take this game in stride and learn from it and grow. But this game is not going to set a tempo for the rest of my career," said Barkley.

"I know what I'm capable of. I believe I can do great things in this league. And this is just the start."

WHAT YOU MISSED

Sheil provides his observations from the game.

The Eagles had a total system failure on offense.

An update on where the quarterback situations stands after Sunday.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Reuben Frank takes a look at the Eagles' home woes.

Since the start of the 2011 season, the Eagles are an NFL-worst 5-14 at home, and they haven’t had a winning season at the Linc since 2009.

They were 3-5 at home in 2011, then 2-6 last year and 0-3 this year. They need to go at least 4-1 at the Linc the rest of the season to avoid a third straight home losing record for the first time since 1969 through 1971.

“It’s tough, it’s tough,” DeMeco Ryans said. “Our fans are still behind us, but we know we’re not getting it done at home right now, and it’s disappointing not to win games at home when you have the home-field advantage."

Jeff McLane writes that Kelly's QB of the future is not on this team.

...The ideal conductor of that offense is not Foles. It's likely not even Michael Vick, at least not for the long term, although he'll certainly retain his starting spot once he fully recovers from a hamstring strain.

Kelly's model is likely playing on Saturdays and quite possibly for the program he left after six years. But obtaining Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota or any one of the seemingly cream of the crop quarterbacks in next year's draft doesn't help the Eagles in their final nine games.

But Kelly surely knew that when he brought Vick back as a one-year stopgap and even Foles, who was on the roster and for free. He needed to buy some time and it might as well have been the first year as he went about turning the organization over.

COMING UP

We'll talk to Chip Kelly at 1 p.m.

  • Addicted2Mula

    And i was correct even Foles dont look good against man coverage. Is it the way the offence is set up or is our WR that weak to get open. Or our QBs clearly cant win against man. Im sorry either eagles going to lose lot more games or thier going to use some piccs to get a QB next year

    • BlindChow

      The Giants were using man coverage. And there were open receivers against Dallas, Foles just wasn’t hitting them.

      • RIP illa

        The Giants used man correct, and that’s how we had the poor 3rd quarter. But it wasn’t just any man D, I believe. I still though they were running more of a single high look and keeping a safety near the box.
        I could be wrong though, but I do know for a fact that they switched out of that look and put both safeties back in coverage at some point in the game, which I thought was in the 4th.
        Single high and rolling the safety over to the deep threat (Desean), allows for tighter coverage on the outside if you know your man cant beat you deep, due to lack of speed or safety help. Then you have the other safety playing closer to the line for the run, but it also has the benefit of helping your linebackers cover the shorter routes in the flats and the middle, cause that safety can also take away the TE trying to run the seam route which is very useful at drawing off LBs and freeing up underneath routes. Most certainly our O’s Achilles heel. Not just “man coverage”!

        • RIP illa

          I should have said, ‘that I know for a fact that they switched out of whatever look they were playing for most of the game’ as opposed to that they switched out of that look. My bad.

      • Addicted2Mula

        And look how the offence stalled out. Only scored the last points off of TO.

    • anon

      Yeah man is a lot different than zone. We have no Maclin, we have no Benn, we definitely need to get a 6’2″ 210 WR on this team whose name is not RC. He either needs to be able to get open or catch contested balls.

      • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

        See the Bengals and the Lions? Johnson vs. Green. Geesh. What I would do for a WR with half of that talent.

      • Addicted2Mula

        Exactly we need another WR like now!! Its like everybody is just going to play man and force the QB to throw. And i dont get why they went to a more power run then the zone read

  • JofreyRice

    Please stop playing the freaking Rocky theme. Embarrassing. It’s like soneone watched a powerpoint about Philadelphia.

    • Token

      just terrible.

    • G_WallyHunter

      LMAO I heard that and was like…
      are they serious? Jeffrey? Is this you?

      • JofreyRice

        movie is 40 odd years old. Please find something new to play just before the Eagles give up a long third down. I would literally rather they showed a giant tub of cream cheese on the jumbotron with the words “MAKE SOME NOISE”.

        • Richard Colton

          Kate Smith too while we’re at it. seriousy. things have happened in Philly since 1978.

    • greenblood20

      No respect for the past…whatever

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    I was actually impressed with Barkley, oddly enough. There may be something there.

    Edit: With that said I’d prefer not to see him again this year. lol

    • Token

      The only positive I can think of is he drops back sticks his foot in the ground and gets rid of it. But it went more often to the other team.

      For all the fluff stories about his arm being stronger now, it wasnt. He seems like a good kid. Kind of guy you probably want around.

      Hopefully he becomes a strong backup. But a 4th rounder could have been used better.

      • G_WallyHunter

        4th rounder and whatever they traded to get up to that #1 pick of 4th round… smh at that move now. When Barkley throws the ball it looks like the game goes into slow motion but really it’s just the football in slow motion..
        disappointed in that, yesterday sucked all around

      • JofreyRice

        Like all the fluff stories about him being so “pro ready”. Hey, Matt: in the pros, there are these things called linebackers. They drop into passing lanes. What a waste of a pick by the Howmeister!

        • Token

          Its sort of a funny situation. You have people liking this kid after everything they have seen up to this point. Simply because his name is Matt Barkley and once upon a time a mock draft had him in the 1st round. He must be good!

          I like his attitude. He seems like a good guy. But at this point if he can be a backup for a few years its a major victory.

          A big waste of a 4th round pick any way you slice it.

          All that said. If Vick goes down, you may as well throw Barkley out there and get him snaps. The door has been closed on Foles for the last time after that Mike McMahon like performance.

          • aub32

            So are we really calling it for a 4th round pick QB after his first action in the NFL. Weren’t you one who wanted to “see what Foles was”? Obviously the team knew Barkley wasn’t NFL ready. He was a 4th round pick. If we were to get your guy Mariota and he did the same thing in his first game would you call that a waste of a pick? No. You would make excuses because at least that’s the guy Token wanted. Barkley came in and looked awful. I guess no one told him the defense was allowed to go after the ball, but you can at least be objective, The kid isn’t ready. Show me a 4th round QB who is.

          • Token

            I have never thought Barkley was capable.

            I dont know how to make this point any clearer for the few of you who refuse to get it.

            I dont want Vick in there. I just dont see a point to it. Hes not here next year.

            Thats the reason I wanted Foles and/or Barkley to play. Because you might as well see if theres anything there. Simple.

            But I realize Vick is the starter now the rest of the way til hes hurt again. When he goes down, Barkley should play. Not Foles.

            Same principle. Foles is done. Hes had multiple chances and failed. He likely wont be here next year. Now we see if Barkley has back up potential going forward.

            This point of view does not mean Im a Foles or Barkley fanatic. If you dont love Vick, that doesnt mean you love the other two guys. We have three turds right now.

            2014 draft is huge.

          • aub32

            Never said you believed in Barkley. You hated that pick from the start. My point was you made excuses for Foles. Maybe it was just so you could see Vick never play in Eagles green, but you did defend Foles. My question was how could you crucify the pick because of what we saw yesterday. Where are the excuses for Barkley. Isn’t he a rookie? Even if he does turn out to be a good backup, wouldn’t that be worth a 4th round pick? How many backups come in with Barkley’s pedigree. He has the intangibles and can still get better physically. I don’t think he’s the franchise QB, but he is an Eagle.

          • Token

            If you think ive made excuses for Foles you havent been paying much attention.

        • Richard Colton

          Hasn’t been a player this “pro ready” since Danny Watkins.

        • G_WallyHunter

          But, he started 8 straight years!!

    • cliff henny

      agree with liking barkley-maybe it’s hating foles so much that showing anything was encouraging. 3 ints were just a guy overmatched by defense. thought there was alot to like right up ints, he simply was overmatched, most 3rds are.

      rather see barkley than foles if vick cant go…man, foles was just horrible.

      • aub32

        You are overreacting. Foles played really bad, but he is still better than Barkley. Barkley couldn’t see anything. He literally threw pick after pick. Foles was over-hyped, as some of us tried to tell people, but he still gives us a chance to beat bad teams; and teams don’t get much worse than the Giants this year.

        • cliff henny

          probably…it’s not called over-reaction monday for no reason. my eyes, i can explain to myself why barkley looked the way he did, and did see some minor bits to maybe think something is possibly there(cant waffle more that that)…but foles, com’on, had 1/2 season last yr, every chance in OTAs and preseason, and to literally show nothing?! not one redeeming, maybe some hope talent we can grasp onto. where good portion of fanbase is giving you all the benefit of the doubt, holding out hope. just freaking piss poor

          • aub32

            He is limited both physically and mentally. Many fans tried to tote him as this quicking thinking, defense reading anticipation throwing QB. He can do that at times, but so can every other QB. He played really well last week. Matt Flynn had one of the all time great games of any QB ever. So expectations needed to be tempered. However, he isn’t god awful. He’s limited. He can still come in and play well in spots. He just isn’t the future, and he needs a good deal of help from coaches and players to assist him in performing well.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            I said last week that Tampa is Foles ceiling. That’s his “great” game, and it’s not going to get better than that for him. But yeah, I beleive Foles can beat the Giants IF he can put this game behind him. He needs a REAL short memory. Unfortunately I think that’s a BIG if.

          • knighn

            Fortunately the concussion may have left him with an actual short memory. ;-)

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            lol. You’re wrong for that.

          • knighn

            I know. But wrong jokes are funny sometimes. Have you watched Michael J. Fox’s show? If he didn’t actually have Parkinson’s, people would be all over him for how wrong some of his jokes are. Funny, but wrong.
            BTW: I didn’t think Foles looked like he was that hurt… otherwise I wouldn’t have made the joke. But then again, Foles looks kind of goofy to begin with so it’s sort of hard to tell.

          • aub32

            Not cool. I’m all for jokes, but this is in bad taste. Head injuries and memory loss are nothing to joke about.

          • anon

            gonna be tough. that was a whole nother level. hard to get the team back after that, hard to get your confidence back after that, other teams are going to intimidate you as well. why you don’t start qbs day one.

          • Run Eagles Run

            he picks a reciver he thinks is gonna be open, and goes to that guy no matter what. sorta like the way I play madden, every now and then he happens to see a guy wide open and gets lucky. half the time Nick is staring down the reciver the whole fucking time. its laughable, the fact people were trying to make him out to be special. laughable.

  • Token

    I was interested to see how Foles would come out under this pressure. His biggest game. And we saw a disaster of epic proportions.

    Foles is done here. Hes had many chances. I think they will see if they can get a 7th round pick for him in the offseason.

    Our situation now is Vick starts the rest of the way.

    Then they REALLY have a lot riding on the first round of the draft. Kelly has to hit on the pick.

    They are going to have to be willing to trade up if possible. There are a bunch of teams that will be after QBs.

    Chip can get the word to Mariota to come out, only half joking here.

    Then the rookie starts next year and you hope your 4th rounder Barkley can be a solid backup. Rookies can start right away in this league. Especially if its someone like Mariota who knows the system already.

    The QB class that was thought to be so good has taken a hit IMO. The quality of the class hinges alot on if Marcus comes out. But if he continues to play well in the season, you know scouts will love him in shorts, he would be a top 5 pick. But we will probably be within striking distance of that pick.

  • cliff henny

    Barkley was thrown into unwinnable situation. ghost of johnny unitas could have invaded his body, not much would have changed. right before 1st pick, another drop by celek to put kid in 3rd and long(know there was 2 more ints, but celek’s drops are really starting to piss me off). wasnt much help from teammates, is all. trying to put positive spin on 3 ints, thought Barkley looked like nfl qb, lot more than foles, when moving in pocket, quick decision-when he loaded it was out, taking shots downfield (know not much choice, but wasnt checking down every pass) and ball was coming out with some zip. wasnt vick zip-better than foles’ wobbling underthrows, certainly more than summer and sounds like from previous articles might get stronger. no idea if he can be starter or backup, but went from hating pick to not liking and curious.

    • Token

      No way to really put a nice spin on 4INTs in 20 throws. Plus he just doesnt have a NFL arm. We all want to not believe that, but its just how it is. As I said, hopefully he turns into a solid back up for years.

      • cliff henny

        i can chalk up ints to being overmatched. no one is condoning picks, but if people thought foles was nfl stating qb (i dont), would say i saw more from barkley than foles. his arm was fine. looked liked drew brees’ level. foles’ looked weak as $H!T…thought i was on ’14 draft bandwagon b4, now i’ve shoved driver out and have the reigns. jesus foles looked awful. how bad is it that a guy can throw 3/4 picks and still show more than starter. patting the ball,rolling out at half speed knowing he cant do crap outside pocket. god, foles just killed his trade value.

        • Token

          Foles is done…. we can agree there.

          But Matt has shown nothing to suggest hes a NFL starter.

          If you think hes got anything approaching a Drew Brees arm, you better go back and watch some more Drew Brees. Barkley doesnt have near that kind of arm.

          • cliff henny

            well, brees doesnt have cannon, but at least he throws thru his recrs. would say barkley does that. my jury is still out on barkley, give him at least thru another preseason. foles throws just to his recrs, like avant int. ball is just dying as it gets there. put some gas on it man. barkley also doesnt stand there patting ball for 5 seconds, he plants throws, does help guy with limited arm. that part was brees-esgue (please, i’m not comparing talent, very similar size, brees also has improved arm strength over time, was his huge knock at 22). why m2m works, rcrs are open, qbs just cant pull trigger. barkley at least pulls trigger-outcome sucked. this is foles vs barkley, not barkley vs ’14 draft qb. this point, i’m trading anyone that gets picks back and leveraging draf for marioti

  • 1972

    If his arm doesn’t magically become a cannon, I don’t think we need anymore matt barkley articles. If he ever comes in we better get in the power o and run 50 times a game

  • knighn

    This story would have been much better if Matt Barkley finished the story like this:
    “So I said to Romo, ‘Thanks, Tony. Now F*** off, you F***ing Cowboy!’”

    • anon

      He’s a rookie…he’ll learn.

    • aub32

      That would have made many fans forget all about the 3 INTs.

    • Justin

      You know, something that’s been bothering me. Doesn’t it feel like the team’s hate for the Cowboys hasn’t quite been there the past few years?

      • Damien

        Both teams have sucked recently. That’s the main reason. When we’re fighting for 1 playoff spot wk 17 in the future, the rivalry’s back.

  • Run Eagles Run

    Jeff McLane, way to write an article that basically says what every commenter and eagle fan across the Delaware valley already knows, you hacky piece of shit. I guess the article he had planned, about Nick Foles next step toward greatness, got shelved for the next time people forget Foles will only ever be a backup.

    • Eagles4Life

      Switched his tune up QUICKLY.

      • Run Eagles Run

        just like he did when les bowen jacked his jaw

  • Kristopher Cebula

    wow! one bad game where the entire offense had a bad game and two young qb’s are finished. foles was inaccurate all day but when he was on half the time, our receivers would drop the ball. I was at the game *sigh* and Foles was definitely off. He was throwing behind receivers pretty often, but the receivers weren’t stepping up to help him out. even when the ball was behind, it was hitting guys in the hands and bouncing off. A good receiver makes a catch that hits him in the hands, behind or not. I don’t see Foles being the future, but he’s not a bad qb. He’s a low to mid range starter who could possibly be successful in the future, which is ok for a third round pick. If he was ready to be a superstar, he would have went in the first last year. people just need to temper their expectations. Judging Barkley on this game is ridiculous. He comes into the game in the fourth quarter. First regular season action. He’s down 2 scores and Dallas is ready for him to throw the ball. He had a bad day in a bad situation. He will get better. Not trying to say he’s the future either, but to say he’s worthless after 1 quarter in a bad situation is idiocy.