Dallas Cowboys: Is Tony Romo Ready to Take the Next Step?

Stephen UrbaniakCorrespondent IMay 31, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 10:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys throws a pass behind the blocking of tackle Marc Colombo #75 against the Tennessee Titans at Cowboys Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. The Titans won 34-27.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The flashpoint of the Dallas Cowboys, quarterback Tony Romo, takes heat when the team loses and he even takes criticism when they win.  Nothing he does is ever good enough for people out there, as even as he has led the Cowboys to their first playoff win in 13 years, there are fans that want to run him out of town.

He has not been without his share of mistakes, most notably his famous fumbled snap in the 2006 Wild Card loss to Seattle, and his last second interception in the 2007 playoffs costing the No.1 seeded Cowboys a chance at the NFC title game.

He has been called out by numerous high-profile people, such as Emmitt Smith who said of Romo,

"I never saw Romo go snatch somebody up, and say, 'Hey, we can't win like this. We can't have guys jumping offsides. I can't have a defender coming at me unabated. Who is making the mistakes up front? Why aren't you picking this guy up? This is not going down this way. If you can't get your job done, get off the football field." (ESPN.com)

People forget the quarterback carousel in Dallas since Troy Aikman took a devastating hit from LaVar Arrington in 2000: Anthony Wright, Quincy Carter, Clint Stoerner, Ryan Leaf (gasp!!), Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Henson, Drew Bledsoe, Brad Johnson and Randall Cunningham. 

All of these "Cowboys fans" have to think for a second.  Tony Romo is a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback who has not been without his share of mistakes, but who in the NFL hasn't made critical mistakes?  The man is a winner and he gives the Cowboys the best chance to win each and every Sunday.

His steps that he has taken this off-season should prove to critics that he indeed can come back from injury and lead his team back to the playoffs after such a disappointing season for one of the more talented teams in the NFC.

I believe that Tony Romo is indeed ready to take the next step and put the Cowboys in position to win the team's sixth Super Bowl championship.  It may not happen this season, but Romo is going to win his ring.

I'm not saying anoint him to the Hall of Fame just yet, but please be rational.  He is the best quarterback the team has had since Troy Aikman.  Give the man a chance to bring his best game before running him out of town.