Why the Dallas Cowboys Won't Bail on Tony Romo (and Shouldn't)
The quarterback is the leader of the team, and when a team loses, the blame falls on the leader; Tony Romo is exhibit A of this.
Throughout the years, Tony Romo has been called every word in the book. His emergence into this league sparked hope of a new renegade, Farvian type quarterback. Since then Romo has been crushed for not coming through in the clutch and for leading the Cowboys to only one playoff win.
After a 3-4 start, experts are already speculating that Jerry Jones is going to part ways with the franchise QB if he fails to come through in the second half of the season. Reports about Romo's tenure in Dallas coming to an end are sensational, because over the years the Cowboys misfortunes have not been on the shoulders of No. 9.
Look at the Stats
The popular thing for analysts to do these days is to say Tony Romo is terrible in the fourth quarter. From ESPN to NBC, Romo' career has gotten assaulted this year based simply on one pass he threw to Darrelle Revis in Week 1.
But if you want use real statistics instead of Tom Jackson or Cris Carter, the story tells a different tale.
Using passer rating, a statistic that takes into account and values touchdowns, completions and interceptions, this is what comes out. This stat is also is only taking in account close games.
Tony Romo fourth quarter passer rating during games within seven points
2010: 70.2 (Romo played only until Week 7)
Tony Romo has played only 12 games in the past two years, before those, his fourth quarter stats in close games are better than his overall stats.
Yeah, well you can thank Patrick Crayton for all that.
In the last seconds of the third quarter of the Cowboys 2008 divisional playoff loss versus the Giants, with the cowboys up three, Romo escaped two Giant rushers on 3rd-and-14 and fired a pass that very well could have went the distance.
The problem was that Crayton dropped the pass that could have put the game out of distance. Next play the Cowboys punt gets returned to the Dallas' 35 and the Giants score to go ahead.
Then in the final seconds of the game, Tony Romo drives the Cowboys down the field and delivers a perfect pass to the corner of the end zone to Crayton, the problem is that for some reason Crayton decided to stop running at the end of the route.
A few plays later, Romo's Hail Mary attempt into the end zone gets picked off, TO cries and the legend of Romo the choker expands.
WARNING: video language NSFW
The Players Around Him Really Are Not That Good
Tony Romo has been killed by the media for not winning it all with the amazing talent around him.
Fact is, that talent has never been that good.
DeMarcus Ware is a future Hall of Famer, so is Jason Witten who owes his career to Romo just as Romo owes his to Witten. Besides those two players, it has been a revolving door of mediocrity.
Romo's receivers have included talented head-cases such as Terrell Owens and Dez Bryant, an above average slot receiver in Miles Austin and then a heap of trash (see the Patrick Crayton and Terry Glenn slides)
There is not a single offensive lineman who has played for Romo for more than four years.
The Cowboys defense during the Romo era has been cursed with a miserable secondary, a mediocre linebacking core and a serviceable defensive line.
The Dropped Snap Game
This was only Tony Romo's 11th start as an NFL quarterback.
And he actually played quite well.
Playing the defending NFC champions, in one of the hardest stadiums to play in, Romo delivered a solid performance against the Seahawks.
He went 17-of-29 with 189 yards, one TD and zero INT.
The Cowboys were up 20-13 with seven minutes left and the ball, after a terrible Terry Glenn fumble that resulted in a Cowboys safety, followed by a Seahawks touchdown.
Romo drove the Cowboys trailing by two down the field to the 1-yard line.
His dropped snap was inexcusable, however what's lost is that he picked the ball up and was inches away from a Cowboys first down and a yard away from the touchdown.
Also lost in the "choke": Matt Hasselbeck and Josh Brown (best kicker in football at the time), were about to get the ball back with 1:20 left and a timeout.
Also, the Cowboys had all three timeouts and the Seahawks on their own 2-yard line with 1:20 left.
A stop would have put the Cowboys one first down away from a game winning field goal attempt, but they could not hold.
In Tony Romo's career defining game thus far, he played QB great, he just received no help.
The Eagles...and the Eagles
In 2009, the Cowboys season came down to a Week 17 matchup vs. the Eagles. Win and they had the division, lose and they were shutout of the playoffs.
In this game Romo went 24-of-34 with two touchdowns and a pick in a Cowboys win.
The Eagles made the playoffs on a tiebreaker. And the following week, the Cowboys and Romo once again beat the Eagles in the playoffs, this time with No. 9 going 23-of-35 with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Beating your divisional rival in two consecutive must win games must count for something.
Take the Bad, Take the Good
If you are going to say that Romo is an inconstant player, you have concede that he has one of the highest passer ratings of all time.
If you are going to say that Romo has had plenty of time to prove himself, remember that in his first season at the helm, he took the Cowboys to the playoffs for only the second time in eight years, the same year he began to be scrutinized for not being clutch.
If you want to rip Romo for his Week 1 interception to Revis, then you have to commend his Week 2, 10 point fourth quarter comeback win in overtime on the road against the now 6-1 49ers, with two broken ribs and a punctured lung.
If you think the Cowboys are better off without him, then look at the NFL (current starting QBs include Tarvaris, Tebow, Painter, Beck, Ponder, Moore, McCoy, Sanchez and Gabbert).
Unless Andrew Luck gets three DUIs in the next six months and falls to the middle of the first round, Tony Romo will be the Dallas Cowboys quarterback for the foreseeable future.