This Monday night either proved us wrong or right about Tony Romo or did it.
If it has been one quarterback in NFL history that has been more puzzling than any other, it has to be Tony Romo. Romo is probably the most talented of any other quarterback since he started his tenure in Dallas besides Aaron Rodgers. He is elusive as any one in the pocket, great arm, and accurate but somehow he is always questioned about whether he is an elite quarterback or not. With all of his great attributes, he seems to make you want to strangle him because of his mind boggling miscues that happen on a regular basis. Yes, we all fell in love with him when he was handed over the starting job seven games into the 2006 regular season. The football world marvelled over his ability to scramble out of trouble and turn a what suppose to be seven yard sack into a 23 yard pass play. We enjoyed his enthusiasm and playground like plays he repeatedly made throughout the season. He turned a sub par Dallas Cowboy team into a playoff team within half a season. But then it happen. After leading his team back on a last winning drive in his first playoff game, he botches the snap that would forever haunt him. So I ask was that the play that forever cursed him?
Another question is how can a quarterback with the second highest career rating in NFL history (97.3) be labeled as someone who sucks or is terrible? I guess throwing 5 interceptions in a game can make you lean towards that statement. It's not only the interceptions but it's how and when he throws his interceptions. Romo has a habit of throwing an interception during the most crucial time of the game. Not only does he throw a pick but it usually becomes a pick six. And ah yes, what quarterbacks are defined by besides the Super Bowl.... winning the big game. In 2007, they were Superbowl favorites and had home field advantage throughout the NFC and lost to the underrated but over achieving New York "football" Giants. Not only that, they lost a "winner gets into the playoffs" game which was the last game of the season last year to the Giants (Super Bowl Champs again that year). So did Monday prove people right?
If it's one QB that Romo reminds me of then it's Brett Farve. When Romo first start playing he had the playground style, the confidence and that fun loving attitude that Farve had. He is probably more accurate than Farve, but Farve had maybe two great coaches in his time in Mike Holmgren and Mike McCarthy and far better teams than Romo had. I believe the one factor that hurt Romo the most was probably the firing or letting go of Bill Parcells. If it has been anything Parcells is known for it is bringing the best out of his players. He made Phil Simms and Jeff Hostetler into a Super Bowl Champ. C'mon Jeff Hostetler. Then he took Drew Bledsoe to the big Dance and got Vinny Testaverde a to the AFC Championship game. My point is Romo never had a coach that absolutely had his respect since Parcells left. As much as I love Jerry Jones, Cowboys will never win anything until Jones stop dealing with the football side of the team, which is one of the reason's he fired Parcells, which is another story. Talent is one thing but football players is another aspect. Terrell Owens is a shoe in for the Hall of Fame but he was a cancer to his teams. Dez Bryant has all the talent in the world but being a football player who the team can depend on isn't one of his attributes. Also Romo was probably the first to be overly publicized by the media when he became a star. And usually the most publicized gets the most scrutiny. So what if he was on a different team or the kept Parcells, would they have won a superbowl with the talent they had on them squads?
Romo by stats is and should be considered a top tier QB but we all know thats just half of that defines a QB. But when you are down by two touchdowns and receivers are dropping passes and running the wrong routes then you are being set up for failure. He is a great talent and a good quarterback but you can't and won't become great if you simply can't win the big games.