We all know Tony Romo is a good quarterback.
Is he great?
That, we don't know.
Will he ever be able to win the big game?
That, I doubt.
Yes, it's still very early in Romo's career, and there have been a lot of great quarterbacks who started slow and won championships late.
But it would seem that the Cowboys QB is heading in the wrong direction.
Romo's career record is 22-12, including the playoffs. That's a good mark—but it's only good when looked at on the surface.
Romo's record in the months of September, October, and November: 18-5.
Romo's record in the months of December and January: 4-6 (not including the last game of this regular season, which Romo didn't finish).
Romo's passer rating in December in 2006: 77. The mark was 70.3 in December '07, and was capped by a 64.7 in yesterday's loss to the Giants.
To make matters worse, those four December wins Romo had came against inferior teams. Last season, the Cowboys beat the Giants on a last second field goal, and got past a 7-9 Atlanta squad. This season, Dallas needed a final-minute touchdown to defeat the lowly Lions, and also defeated a miserable Panthers unit.
Good quarterbacks are made in September, October, and November.
Champions are made in December and January.
At this point, I just can't see Tony Romo becoming a champion.
Consider his playoff performances.
On Sunday, Romo was up against a Giants team that he should have known well, considering he'd faced them twice this season.
His stats for the game: 18-36, 201 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He also took two sacks, and ran the ball three times for 17 yards.
Those stats aren't horrible, but they aren't the Tony Romo we were all expecting to see. In the season's first two meetings with the Giants, he had 592 passing yards, eight passing touchdowns (four apiece), a rushing touchdown, and only two picks.
In last season' playoff game against Seattle, Romo's stats read pretty similar: 17-29, 189 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. He took two sacks in that game, and had two fumbles (one of which we know to have been very costly).
All told, Romo might just be one of those quarterbacks who doesn't have it in him to be great—not like Joe Montana, or John Elway, or even Brett Favre.
Like Dan Marino, Romo's a proven winner early in the regular season, when games matter least. Not every QB has the ability to step up in big games. It's not clear to me that Romo has the gift.
Granted, his receivers let him down with some dropped passes yesterday, but that's part of the game. All quarterbacks have to deal with that.
A truly great quarterback can turn those missed plays into afterthoughts, rather than excuses.
I haven't seen that ability from Tony Romo yet.