Tony Romo: Why the Dallas Cowboys' Romo Should Be Labeled an Elite NFL QB

Michael PizzutilloCorrespondent IIIDecember 15, 2012

Tony Romo: Why the Dallas Cowboys' Romo Should Be Labeled an Elite NFL QB

0 of 5

    Year after year, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has been one the most highly criticized players in the NFL.  Each season, the veteran quarterback has produced incredible stats and a plethora of highlight-reel footage, but he has never led the Cowboys to victory in the “big game.”

    Since taking over the quarterback position in 2006, Romo has compiled a dismal 1-3 career record in the playoffs. Although, he may not be entirely at fault for the Cowboys’ disastrous playoff history during his tenure, he is the leader of America’s Team and will always be under the microscope.

    But does Romo’s lack of playoff success equate to being just an above-average career quarterback?

    Here are five reasons why Tony Romo should be labeled an elite quarterback in the NFL.

Keeps Every Play Alive

1 of 5

    For years, Tony Romo has been doing what Robert Griffin III is currently doing. To clarify before readers fill the comment board, Romo is never a sure sack, much like RGIII.

    Most NFL quarterbacks are pocket passers, who possess little-to-no scrambling ability to elude oncoming rushers.  These quarterbacks can pick apart a defense when given ample time in the pocket, but a bit of pressure and they buckle.

    Quarterbacks like Romo are most lethal when ad-libbing the play. Each week Romo is sliding under tackles, circling around defenders, chasing a botched snap or correcting a broken play.

    This is when the magic occurs.

    At times Romo will gun-sling an interception, but the majority of these creative plays end with positive yardage and another notch in the highlight reel. More importantly, there is not enough film footage for Cowboys opponents to prepare for a Romo-esque  ad-libbed play, and this extra factor he brings to the field will benefit the Cowboys more than hurt them.

Perfect "Touch" on Passes

2 of 5

    Ever notice when Romo completes a pass, it’s with precision touch? Whether it’s a quick slant to Miles Austin, soft-touch pass to Jason Witten over a linebacker’s hands or 50-yard-bomb to Dez Bryant, it’s a perfect pass.

    Now don’t get me wrong, Romo has his share of interceptions, but believe it or not he is sixth all-time in completion percentage—ahead of Steve Young and Tom Brady, per pro-football-reference.com.

    Romo is deceptively accurate in the pocket or on the run and will more than likely put the ball in a position where his receiver has a chance to make a play.

Success with Mediocre Offensive Line

3 of 5

    There is no denying the Dallas Cowboys offensive line is weak. The days when Troy Aikman would stand behind a massive wall of linemen are long gone.

    Romo has been sacked 173 times in his seven-year career to date, per NFL.com. This number would increase tremendously, if not for Romo’s uncanny ability to escape the pass rush.

    The offensive line woes also hurt the running game, which has a domino effect on the passing game. Romo hasn't had a consistent solid runner throughout his career. Per NFL.com, the Cowboys have only once cracked the top 10 in team rushing yards during Romo’s career.

    Yet even with an average O-line and mediocre running game, Tony Romo has been able to post stellar offensive stats throughout his career.

Game-Winning Drives

4 of 5

    Lately, Romo is becoming clutch in the fourth quarter. Per pro-football-reference.com, Romo already has four game-winning drives this season and 18 for his career.

    When it appears the game is out of hand or ugly, Romo is capable of leading his team in contention to win the game.

    He thrives during the two-minute warning, mainly relying on his sure-handed safety valve, Jason Witten during crunch time. Romo did not always run the two-minute offense to perfection, but he has evolved into a cool, calm quarterback under pressure. 

Cowboys' Most Valuable Player

5 of 5

    The quarterback is the most important player on most NFL teams, and this is no exception with the Dallas Cowboys. Without Romo, the Cowboys are not successful—bottom line.

    He may not be vocal on the field, but he is respected and the team leader.

    Each season, Romo produces at an extremely high level with a group of underachieving players surrounding him. In addition, he’s had to endure three head coach changes through his seven years—a tough adjustment for any player. Yet Romo has persevered through it all.

    Tony Romo is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and hopefully he will win a Super Bowl to shake any doubt otherwise. Though, he should not have to.