Tony Romo: Why He Is Holding the Dallas Cowboys Hostage

Trevor MedeirosCorrespondent IOctober 5, 2011

Tony Romo:  the most schizophrenic quarterback in the NFL
Tony Romo: the most schizophrenic quarterback in the NFLTom Pennington/Getty Images

News flash to Tony Romo:  you’re holding the Dallas Cowboys hostage.

That may be a little harsh for Romo, Cowboys fans and owner Jerry Jones to hear, but it’s a statement they must.  Like it or not, the Cowboys have the talent (well, maybe not on the offensive line) to be a serious Super Bowl contender.

Not only do they have arguably the greatest collection of backs and receivers in the NFL, they also possess this generation’s Lawrence Taylor in DeMarcus Ware, and a defensive unit that will only progress under coordinator Rob Ryan’s aggressive scheme.

The one player either holding them back, or propelling them to a championship level—depending on his erratic performances—is Romo.  Say what you want about him; you must label him inconsistent first and foremost.

He’s been that way his entire career, and 2011, thus far, is the embodiment of that theory.  In Dallas’ two wins, Romo has shown poise, athleticism, leadership, and toughness.  Conversely, in two losses, Romo has lacked discipline and failed miserably in clutch situations, committing bad turnovers in bad spots.

And that’s why he’s holding the Cowboys hostage.  Even at this point, nobody knows what to expect from Romo on a game-to-game basis.  Romo’s inconsistent play has placed Jerry Jones in an awkward situation.

Just how long is Jones supposed to stay with Romo as his star quarterback before he knows, once and for all, the kind of player he ultimately is?  Well, time may be running out for Romo to show it.

The quarterback class emerging for the 2012 NFL Draft looks as talented and deep as it has been in 15 years.  With passers like Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Brandon Weeden, Robert Griffin III, Nick Foles, Ryan Lindley, Dayne Crist, Landry Jones and John Brantley (among many others) showing NFL potential, 2012 may be the perfect opportunity for Jones to dump Romo in favor of a more consistent quarterback.

Of course, there’s still plenty of time left in the season for Romo to prove his worth.  But, ultimately, the present and future direction of the Cowboys is going to come down to his right arm.

With the talent around him, Romo is either going to propel the Cowboys to their championship goal or hold them back.  He better make up his mind soon, because in a league with the mantra of “Not For Long,” Dallas’s Super Bowl window may snap shut very soon.

It’s also why Jones must not procrastinate in deciding to stay with Romo or handing over the franchise to the likes of Luck or Barkley.  Because, if he waits too long, it will be a bigger mistake than the scoreboard debacle or Super Bowl seat mishap.