T.O. says it (half-jokingly) and it becomes a firestorm. Terence Newman says it (a week ago) and not much attention is paid. Newman had an interview with WFAA in which he talked all things Cowboys. I thought he had a great take on team captains, saying that it should be the guys who played the best the week before because they’ve earned the right to speak. After that, maybe a few guys are needed to step up and say something when it’s appropriate, but in general, leadership is earned. He was also asked about everyone’s favorite Cowboys subject (now that The Player is gone), Tony Romo. Here were Newman’s thoughts on whether or not Romo’s grasped what being the Cowboys quarterback is all about:
“I think that with the situation Tony was in, I think that kind of maybe hurt him a little bit, being a first-year starter. Then you have the limelight with his girlfriend and situations of that nature — it’s going to take away from him being a quarterback, being a successful quarterback. He won 13 games and everything was perfect, but now, after this past season, it was, ‘Is he doing enough for the team? Is he working hard enough? You know, he’s got this girlfriend, so …’ I think that once he inherited the starting quarterback job and his relationship got into the national media attention, I think that that was something that definitely hurt and took away from Tony Romo being a great quarterback.”
I’ve defended Tony Romo in the past saying people are too quick to criticize him, forgetting how young he is in his NFL career and how good he’s already been. I’ve said it before and I truly believe that winning cures all. Because the team lost and didn’t make the playoffs, people look for reasons to explain what went wrong. I don’t condone going to Mexico the week before a playoff game, but I don’t think anyone would be saying this stuff had they won a few more games last season. And losing was more a factor of a bad secondary, a brutal schedule, and an unfortunate pinkie injury to Romo, rather than his flakiness because of a girlfriend. It’s too bad that Newman fell into the trap along with so many others.
UPDATE: Newman has since tried to “clarify” his comments
Video of the entire interview below in case you want to check it out (Romo comments at the 6:45 mark or so):