It’s Too Early to Count Out Tony Romo
I’ve heard a lot of criticism of Tony Romo the last few days and I understand where it’s coming from. The Cowboys were hyped up before the year began and brought in even more talent to an already talented team, acquiring Roy Williams mid-season. Despite a disappointing year, the Cowboys still could have made the playoffs by beating the Eagles on Sunday. Instead, they got thumped 44-6 with Tony Romo turning the ball over three times in an embarrassing loss. Much ado has been made lately about Romo’s December record, inability to step up in big games, and his tendency to turn the ball over. While Romo has disappointed in three of the final four games for the Cowboys, I still believe he is one of the more talented quarterbacks in the league who will get over the hump before long.
Let’s start with the pinkie injury. Take that away, the Cowboys beat the Rams and probably go 10-6 and make the playoffs. Still, given the injury, Romo threw for 26 touchdowns and nearly 3,500 yards in only 13 games, many of which he played despite injuries. Even after returning from the pinkie injury, he probably wasn’t 100%, and he got banged up pretty good against the Giants and Eagles to be sure. Secondly, this is only Romo’s second full season as a starting quarterback in the league. He’s still a young guy with a long career ahead of him. In his brief career he’s already shown a great ability to escape pass rushes and make plays, not to mention light up the scoreboard with tons of yardage and touchdowns (36 last year was a franchise record, 26 this year ain’t half bad). How many other quarterbacks in the league have done that the last two years? Not many.
Lastly, regarding this December choking nonsense, the guy plays in a tough division with some of the best defenses in football. Any quarterback will struggle against the Giants, Eagles, and Redskins defenses any time of year, let alone December when it’s hard for anyone to pass. Furthermore, the Cowboys had a hellish December this year playing four playoff teams including two on the road. Their December opponents of the Steelers, Giants, Ravens, and Eagles went a combined 44-18-1. That’s a tough path to the playoffs with defenses that would have made ANY quarterback in the NFL look bad. Yes, Romo threw costly picks against the Steelers and Ravens and fumbled too much against the Eagles, but the guy is still a good quarterback. Remember, Peyton Manning was a choker the first 8 or 9 years of his career, and Eli Manning was still looking awful as recently as November last year. I’m confident Romo will become a better caretaker of the football as he develops and that he’ll grow into a winner before long. Just wait.