When evaluating a professional passer, it's easy to look at the numbers.
It's easy to look at the playoff berths, and it's easy to look at what others say about the quarterback.
However, in Tony Romo's case, it is the hard part of evaluation that really proves who he is as a quarterback.
For Romo, look for what you can't see, and you'll find out what you're just not seeing.
Every year, the quarterback has one of the most talented rosters in the game around him.
This past year, however, Romo and the Cowboys stumbled out of the gate, and after No. 9 was injured against the Giants, the Cowboys rode upon an uneven keel to the tune of a 6-10 record.
Hopes are high for the Cowboys in 2011, that with a new coach and rejuvenated franchise quarterback, maybe this team can figure it out and go to the Super Bowl.
Forget the numbers—Tony Romo can't lead the Cowboys to the Super Bowl.
Romo has posted prolific numbers during his time in the NFL, throwing to the tune of a 95.5 quarterback rating (trailing only Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, and Steve Young) and a 65.1 completion percentage (good for eighth-best all-time).
The quarterback has also compiled a 39-22 record as a starter at the position.
Why, then, is he not a Super Bowl quarterback?
Despite what Roger Staubach may say, Romo has two strikes against him that will prevent him from winning the big one.
Romo will not win a Super Bowl for two reasons: he hasn't won over his teammates and he doesn't have the mental stamina to stay focused and confident for more than 16 or 17 games.
Some will defend Romo, saying he's a leader and a fierce competitor, which may well be true.
If he was such a fantastic leader, though, teammates wouldn't even be considering Jon Kitna as an option at quarterback in 2011.
After the season, there were no rumblings out of the Steelers camp that Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, or any other quarterback should get a chance to compete with Ben Roethlisberger.
Matt Flynn did well in limited time, but no one on the Packers is saying he should be a starter over Aaron Rodgers.
The point is that Tony Romo needs full support of his team to win the Super Bowl, and I have a feeling that the Cowboys locker room has a certain unease about his mental toughness.
Many a time we've seen Romo look utterly lost on the field, and to be the leader of an NFL football team, he needs to lead himself first.
Romo can post whatever numbers he wants, but until he stays mentally focused after the regular season, the Cowboys can't make a deep playoff run.
It seems that when the playoffs begin, Romo shuts down mentally, and he is a shell of himself.
Romo has only put up more than 20 points in a playoff game once, in a Wild Card round win over the Eagles in 2009, where he then proceeded to get embarrassed 34-3 against the Minnesota Vikings.
Romo is a career 1-3 postseason starter, and has inspired nothing in the way of confidence that he can win in the most clutch of situations.
Numbers are numbers, and number can be important in evaluating a player.
When it comes to Romo, however, the quarterback needs to start focusing on one statistic.
It's not completion percentage, it's not yards per attempt, and it's not quarterback rating.
That one stat is Super Bowl wins, of which Romo has none.
If he doesn't become a more confident leader, that number will stand as a blemish on what is shaping up to be a fine career.