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Tony Romo and 25 Players Under Most Pressure in NFL Today

Bailey BrautiganFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2010

Tony Romo and 25 Players Under Most Pressure in NFL Today

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys are really feeling the heat after starting their season 1-4, and this week the 'Boys will have their work cut out for them as they take on the New York Giants during Monday Night Football.

    But Romo isn't the only NFL player under pressure these days.

    Some rookies like Colt McCoy have been thrown into starting positions, and some NFL veterans like James Harrison will have to change the way they have played their entire lives.

    So which player in the NFL is under the most pressure?

    Read on to find out.

25. Josh Freeman

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Why He's Under Pressure: Josh Freeman has the task of being the starting quarterback for the third (or second, depending how you look at it) best team in the NFC South.

    With the New Orleans Saints struggling against the Cleveland Browns—I'll let you soak that one in for a second—the Bucs could contend for the top of their division.

24. Kyle Orton

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    Larry French/Getty Images

    Team: Denver Broncos

    Why He's Under Pressure: Kyle Orton has been a very solid quarterback at the helm of the Broncos offense, but his job could be in jeopardy. Rookie Tim Tebow scored his first NFL touchdown last week, and many fans are calling for more "Tebow Time."

23. Alex Smith

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Team: San Francisco 49ers

    Why He's Under Pressure: The 49ers are another team that started the season with big playoff dreams, but then things started going terribly wrong.

    Smith has some serious work to do, especially after an on-field screaming match with head coach Mike Singletary.

22. Matt Cassel

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Team: Kansas City Chiefs

    Why He's Under Pressure: The Chiefs have had an explosive start to their season, and it will be up to Matt Cassel to keep up the momentum for his team.

21. Jason Campbell

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Team: Oakland Raiders

    Why He's Under Pressure: The Raiders quarterback woes continue as Bruce Gradkowski is out with a shoulder injury. Campbell himself is dealing with knee problems, but he will have to suck it up to give the Raiders a chance.

20. Max Hall

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Team: Arizona Cardinals

    Why He's Under Pressure: The Cardinals were able to rally and defeat the Super Bowl champs last week, and Max Hall has shown glimmers of brilliance. Arizona has been struggling at the quarterback position since the retirement of Kurt Warner, and they will need Hall to continue to improve throughout the season.

19. Tom Brady

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Team: New England Patriots

    Why He's Under Pressure: The Pats have been riding a wave of momentum this season, but their next five games will be extremely difficult. Brady will need to maintain his ice-cold composure as the Patriots take on the Chargers, Vikings, Browns, Steelers and Colts.

18. Carson Palmer

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Team: Cincinnati Bengals

    Why He's Under Pressure: The Bengals were at the top of the AFC North last season, and with the addition of Terrell Owens, you would think that they would be having another great year. Not so much.

    Palmer has struggled throughout the season (even losing to the Browns), and the Bengals are in danger of bringing up the rear in their division.

17. Philip Rivers

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Team: San Diego Chargers

    Why He's Under Pressure: The San Diego Chargers are no stranger to slow starts, but it's do or die time for the Bolts.

16. Donovan McNabb

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    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    Team: Washington Redskins

    Why He's Under Pressure: McNabb has the burden of being the quarterback of the team with the worst defense in the NFL, and he will have to make up for the Skins' lack of D on offense.

15. Chad Henne

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    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    Team: Miami Dolphins

    Why He's Under Pressure: The Dolphins are right on the cusp of becoming a dominant force in the AFC, but they find themselves part of one of the toughest divisions in the league.

14. Matt Moore

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    Geoff Burke/Getty Images

    Team: Carolina Panthers

    Why He's Under Pressure: Rookie Jimmy Clausen took over the quarterback position when Matt Moore went out with an injury, and he definitely couldn't get the job done. Now Moore is back, and he will need to work some magic to help the Panthers add a W to their record.

13. Drew Brees

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Team: New Orleans Saints

    Why He's Under Pressure: What the heck is going on with the New Orleans Saints this season? How does a team go from winning the Super Bowl to losing to the Cleveland Browns?

    Brees has thrown four interceptions against Cleveland so far today. Something is wrong in the Big Easy.

12. Sam Bradford

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Team: St. Louis Rams

    Why He's Under Pressure: Sam Bradford is off to a great start to his rookie season, and all eyes are on him in St. Louis. We will see if he can keep up his success.

11. Dunta Robinson

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Team: Atlanta Falcons

    Why He's Under Pressure: Robinson was part of one of the worst hits of the weekend last week, as he concussed Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson. He will have to adjust his playing in order to account for the league's new stance on these hard hits.

10. Kevin Kolb

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Team: Philadelphia Eagles

    Why He's Under Pressure: Kevin Kolb began the season as the starting quarterback with the Philadelphia Eagles, but then he lost his spot after an injury in Week 1 to Michael Vick. Kolb got his second chance after Vick also sustained an injury against the Washington Redskins, and he has been very impressive ever since.

    Kolb will now have to prove that he deserves the starting job for the long haul in Philly.

9. Ryan Fitzpatrick

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Team: Buffalo Bills

    Why He's Under Pressure: The Buffalo Bills led the Baltimore Ravens by a sizable margin going into the half today, but the Ravens rallied to regain the lead. Fitzpatrick has been doing a lot of things right at the helm of the Bills' offense, but it will be up to him to fix whatever is wrong and add some wins for the Bills.

8. Aaron Rodgers

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    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    Team: Green Bay Packers

    Why He's Under Pressure: Tonight, Rodgers will face the daunting task of facing Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings with a pretty banged-up squad.

7. Tim Tebow

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    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Team: Denver Broncos

    Why He's Under Pressure: Tim Tebow's celebration of his first NFL touchdown was short-lived because now (even though it was only one touchdown), fans will be expecting quite a bit from this rookie.

6. Brandon Meriweather

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Team: New England Patriots

    Why He's Under Pressure: Officials will be keeping their eyes on Brandon Meriweather after his flagrant hit on Todd Heap, which ended in a concussion for the Ravens' tight end.

5. Brett Favre

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Team: Minnesota Vikings

    Why He's Under Pressure: Brett Favre has been under the most media scrutiny of any player in the NFL after an off-field sex scandal and the Vikings' lackluster start to the season.

    Tonight, he will face the team where he made his biggest mark in NFL history.

4. Randy Moss

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Team: Minnesota Vikings

    Why He's Under Pressure: Randy Moss will need to have a great game tonight against the Green Bay Packers to prove that he is still relevant as a top receiver in the NFL.

3. James Harrison

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

    Why He's Under Pressure: Harrison was the most vocal about his displeasure with the NFL's new stance on flagrant hits, and he even contemplated the idea of retirement. He is now appealing the sanctions received after he concussed two Cleveland Browns players, and he will need to change his playing style in order to avoid more controversy.

2. Colt McCoy

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Team: Cleveland Browns

    Why He's Under Pressure: How about them Brownies? Colt McCoy is earning himself a permanent position at the helm of the Browns' offense as he held his own against the Pittsburgh Steelers and then went on to lead the Browns to a victory over the Super Bowl champions.

1. Tony Romo

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Team: Dallas Cowboys

    Why He's Under Pressure: Something needs to happen in Dallas. And fast! Tony Romo is definitely under the most pressure out of any player in the NFL, and things won't get easier when the Cowboys host the dominant New York Giants.

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