Tony Romo: Does He Deserve the Criticism?

Bo Martin@BoKnowsBCBContributor ISeptember 4, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 25:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the St. Louis Rams at Cowboys Stadium on August 25, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Love him or hate him, Tony Romo has become the one topic that NFL fans can’t help but talk about. 

Everyone seems to have his or her opinion on Romo.  Some say that he’s overrated, that he can’t perform in the clutch, and isn’t an elite quarterback.  Others will say that Tony Romo has surpassed expectations and has become the best Cowboys quarterback of all-time.

Fans are entitled their opinions, but where it gets out of line is in the media. We hear nothing but criticism of the undrafted free agent quarterback. 

The media tends to mold the fans mind.  A lot of fans are ignorant about specific topics and side with who they claim to be “the experts.”   What happens from this is that people get on the Tony Romo hate train almost immediately without knowing the facts.

So the real question is… Is the criticism warranted?

Here’s my take:

No, Tony Romo has not won a Super Bowl.  Yes, Tony Romo has won only one playoff game in his career.  Is it his fault?

Simply put, no. 

The NFL has quickly become a win-now league.  That means that success is measured in Super Bowls and not ability.  In which case, Tony Romo is having a very unsuccessful career. 

In the real world success isn’t measured by jewelry, but by positive production in an individual’s career and the achievement of their goals.  In the real world Tony Romo is a great quarterback.

You can say what you want to say about Romo but the bottom line is pretty clear; Tony Romo has exceeded expectations and currently sits as one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. 

The Dallas Cowboys have had three very successful quarterbacks.  In comparison, the two that won rings were not nearly as effective as Romo overall.  Here’s a statistical comparison of the quarterbacks (remember, Romo has only played 9 NFL seasons):

- In 12 NFL seasons Troy Aikman completed 61.5 percent of his passes for 32,942 yards.  He threw for 165 touchdowns and 141 interceptions.  His career passer rating was 81.6.

- In 11 NFL seasons Roger Staubach completed 57 percent of his passes for 22,700 yards.  He threw for 153 touchdowns and 109 interceptions.  He retired with an 83.4 career passer rating.

- In 9 NFL seasons, Romo has completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 20,834 yards.  He’s thrown for 149 touchdowns and only 72 interceptions. 

Romo has the highest quarterback rating of any these quarterbacks.  That tells us that he is very efficient.  I know what you’re thinking though, “If he’s so efficient, why does he throw so many interceptions?”  The answer is that he doesn’t.  The media hypes up every time Romo throws a pick and then blames the loss on him. 

Out of Romo, Aikman, and Staubach only Romo has a TD/INT ratio of 2:1. 

Tony Romo holds Career Cowboys records for the following: Games with 3-plus touchdown passes (24), games with 300-plus yards passing (32) and lowest career interception percentage (2.78 percent).

Romo also holds multiple season and single-game records as well as he ranks second in the NFL’s all-time career passer rating list and forth all-time in the NFL for yards per attempt.

You can’t argue with numbers.  Tony Romo is an elite quarterback who continues to get better.  At 32 years of age, Romo put together his best season to date when people said the Cowboys should be looking for a replacement.   Romo compiled a 2012 stat line that looks like this: 102.5 passer rating, 4,184 yards passing, 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

You can say what you want to say about Romo.  You can listen to whomever you trust.  What I’m doing here is giving you guys the facts. 

Speaking of facts, consider this one: Tony “the choke artist” Romo has 13 fourth quarter comebacks and 14 game-winning drives. Romo also holds a 104.4 passer rating in the fourth quarter, a 99.8 passer rating when in the fourth within seven points, and a 116.7 rating in overtime.

Here is my final thought:  Tony Romo isn’t just an elite quarterback in this league.  When all is said and done he’ll be a Hall of Fame quarterback.

No, he hasn’t won a ring—yet. But he’s a very young 32-years-old.  He hasn’t shown any sign of declining with his age.  Most importantly, he is still capable of punishing defenses with his legs and arm.

So no, the criticism isn’t warranted.  It doesn’t matter though, because Tony Romo doesn’t care about it.  He’s going to keep getting better and the media will continue to look ignorant on their own for their wild accusations and analysis.

I’m talking to you Marshall Faulk.