Dallas Cowboys: Why Tony Romo Should Be Considered an Elite Quarterback

Nick RossContributor IDecember 14, 2011

Dallas Cowboys: Why Tony Romo Should Be Considered an Elite Quarterback

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    There is plenty of controversy surrounding the legacy of Cowboys franchise quarterback Tony Romo. Since taking over the starting job in the Cowboys' 2006-2007 season, Romo has had many supporters and detractors. Although there are valid criticisms of Romo's game, much of his negative image comes unwarranted and without reason.

    Here are five reasons why Tony Romo should be considered an elite quarterback.

Toughness

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    Tony Romo is a tough football player. In the NFL, in order to obtain elite status, winning has to be everything, and you have to be able to play through pain. Tony Romo has proven that he fits the mold when it comes to dedication to winning as well as ability to play hurt.

    Earlier this year Romo suffered a fractured rib and punctured lung in a game against the San Francisco 49ers. Although leaving the game for much of the third quarter, Romo returned to bring his team back from 10 points down to ultimately win in overtime by a final score of 27-24.

    By doing this, it shows that he can handle pain and is willing to put his body on the line in order for the Cowboys to succeed.

Game-Winning Drives

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    Although Romo is often times perceived as someone who is not clutch, his numbers beg to differ. Over his tenure as starting quarterback, he has orchestrated 13 fourth-quarter comebacks along with 14 game-winning drives.

    His ability to give his team wins in the fourth quarter is a huge positive and sometimes goes unappreciated. These numbers could be even larger if it hadn't been for the last two weeks, one of which was a missed field goal to win (against Arizona) and the other a missed field goal to tie (against New York Giants).

    Although naysayers will argue otherwise, Tony Romo gets it done with the game on the line.

Mobility

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    Tony Romo's mobility certainly contributes to his success and value. He is not like dynamic quarterbacks like Michael Vick, Cam Newton and Tim Tebow, but he does possess tremendous value in the plays he can make with his legs. His ability to keep plays going and avoid pressure is certainly among the best in the league.

    He is athletic and crafty in the pocket, allowing him to elude pressure and ultimately make plays many other quarterbacks can not. His mobility is certainly a strength to his game, and helps disguise mistakes by the offensive line and allows the Cowboys to create yardage out of broken plays.

The Numbers

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    Numbers don't lie. Tony Romo puts up outstanding numbers year in and year out and deserves some recognition for it. Romo, since taking over the starting job, has not had a QB rating of under 91.4. He has thrown a career 144 touchdowns to just 71 interceptions, which is better than a 2:1 ratio. His completion percentage has never in his career been below 60 for a season, and is on his way to throwing 30-plus touchdowns this season.

    For some reason, all these great career accomplishments are overshadowed by criticisms that cannot be supported statistically. Tony Romo is a great quarterback statistically, which should be weighed at least equally to the judgements of his skeptics.

Botched Snap

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    Tony Romo botched the snap of a 19-yard field goal with under two minutes left in the playoffs. Get over it. He shouldn't be holding the kick, and it doesn't reflect on his play at the quarterback position. People who remain critical of this play don't have an understanding of his meaning to the franchise.

    Without Tony Romo that season (his first as a starter), or any season to present day, the Cowboys are irrelevant. It was a bad play, with terrible consequences and cost the Cowboys their season, but it does not change the fact he is an elite quarterback.

    Despite all the positives, people will continue to question Romo's value—but when his career is over and Dallas looks for a new player under center, maybe critics around the league will realize how good he actually was.