Dallas Cowboys: 5 Years Later, Tony Romo Is Still a Mystery

Kwame Fisher-Jones@@joneskwameContributor IIIAugust 10, 2011

DALLAS - SEPTEMBER 30:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 and wide receiver Sam Hurd #17 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrate after Romo's 15 yard touchdown run against the St. Louis Rams at Texas Stadium September 30, 2007 in Irving, Texas. The Cowboys won 35-7.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Tony Romo was supposed to be a Super Bowl winning quarterback by now. He was the next great Dallas Cowboys quarterback, who was going to fix all that was wrong in the world and dominate the NFL in the process.

Well, five years after being named the Cowboys starter, Romo has just one playoff win.

As the NFL and its fans try to jinx the Philadelphia Eagles with Super Bowl expectations and prognostications, Romo and the Cowboys have flown under the radar. The quarterback, in particular, has managed to escape the wrath of criticism that should be directed his way.

Maybe the lockout dulled the knives that are usually thrown at underachieving quarterbacks, or maybe Cowboy fans are so blinded by the big and bright stars of Texas. Regardless, there has been no quarterback in the league who has accomplished less with so much talent.

Yes, his numbers are great in some areas and lacking in others, and yes he is a Pro Bowl quarterback, but those accolades say more about the competition then his competence.

In 2006, Romo was 6-4 as a starter. On the surface that appears decent, but only one of those six wins came against a team above .500. That isolated moment of excellence came against an Indianapolis Colts team that was undefeated at the time.

The season would come to a bitter end in the wildcard game as Romo botched a game winning field goal attempt. The Cowboys were struggling long before they met the Seattle Seahawks that night. The Boys lost three out of four to end the season and were outscored 132 to 93 in those four contests. So the proverbial wheels were already coming off the wagon.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 31:  Jason Witten #82, Ryan Kalil #67, and Tony Romo #9 of the NFC's Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers stand in the huddle during the 2010 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl game at Sun Life Stadium on January 31, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Flori
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Romo, unscathed, went to his first Pro Bowl and a few weeks after the debacle in Seattle, life was good for the new starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.

Then the 2007 season came accompanied with expectations, and Romo played well. He threw for 4,211 yards and 36 touchdowns, both Cowboy records at the time. The Cowboys finished the season 13-3 and they were thinking Super Bowl in Big D.

Those thoughts turned out to be delusions of grandeur as Romo and the Boys fell hard in their home playoff game against the Giants. The 21-17 loss to the New York Football Giants appeared like an upset. The Cowboys were the division champs and had 72 Pro Bowlers, they were suppose too roll over the Giants. After all they had swept the G-Men during the regular season.

Easy my misled friend, again numbers do lie despite what Jay-Z says. Of the Boys' 13 wins in 2007 only four, yes four, came against teams with a winning record. Those four wins were Washington, Green Bay, and the Giants twice. Again Romo had his biggest moments against inferior competition and continued to pull the wool over our eyes.

Once the 2008 season arrived Romo was the considered a top flight quarterback, people had the Cowboys winning multiple Super Bowls. Problem was they only played six losing teams that year. They won five of those six contest, and a tumultuous season came to a week 17 showdown against division rival Philly with the playoffs on the line. The moment again proved to be too much for the Boys. They were humiliated 44 - 6 and did not make the playoffs that year.


Romo was given a pass due to him missing three games because of an injury and everyone’s favorite whipping boy, Head Coach Wade Phillips, was at the helm.

The 2009 season Romo played lights out. He set single season Cowboy records for completions (347), attempts (550), and passing yards (4483). The Cowboys won their first playoff game since 1996 and they looked poised for a strong run. Then Minnesota happened and 34-3 happened, and now what is our celebrated quarterback prepared to do.

Last year, the Cowboys started 1-5 and looked headed for a disappointing season. When the starting quarterback was injured disappoint turned into excuses as fans and media alike charged the season to the game. Feeling that once Romo returned the Boys would ride again.

As the 2011 season approaches, Romo has managed to escape the spotlight once again.

Outside of a few comments, his name has been barely uttered. The media seems intent on jinxing the Eagles by declaring them champions because they added two starters and several high profile backups. The Cowboys did make a little noise when John Candy, also known as Rob Ryan, wrote a check his players will eventually have to cash.

MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 17:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys walks off the field after being defeated 34-3 by the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Min
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Today Romo is still a mystery, as far as championships are concerned. He has proven he can destroy inferior teams like no other, but what happens when the big boys come to town. What is he going to do this year when the money is on the line and he has to, not needs to but has to make a play? Will he quiver and shake like T.O.’s bottom lip when he declared his love for his “quarterback” or will he disappear like a Republican every time Sarah Palin opens her mouth?


What is Romo prepared to do? He is paid like a champion quarterback. He is spoken about like a champion quarterback and at times albeit against glorified CFL teams he has played like a championship quarterback. Now is the time for him to take the next step and no longer falter.

The table is set for him and excuses and reasons for failure are for the weak. If he is the strong quarterback that Jerry Jones and the Dallas faithful believe he is he most show it. There are reports surfacing that the Cowboys will be one of the teams present at former Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor’s pro day workout and would anyone be shocked if Pryor becomes a Cowboy.

True judgment has not found Tony Romo as he has managed to walk a road of celebration reserved for the glorious. The 2011 season will see the end of this proclaimed hero and provide us with honest praise for his conquests or bitter disdain for his failures.


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