The Mystery of Tony Romo
He’s got the talent, he’s got the numbers and he’s got the athleticism. Not many in the league combine an ability to make things happen with their feet while making accurate passes down the field like he does, and I would call him one of the best quarterbacks in the league at sensing pressure and stepping up in the pocket. If you look solely at his numbers you’ll realize that he has a top 5 quarterback rating of all time, and his numbers compare favorably to the likes of Philip Rivers coming into this season. So why is it that when the games get important and at key points in games he seems to fall apart? Why does he go from this confident gunslinger moving the ball down field on cue to one with this sad look on his face who doesn’t seem all that excited about quarterbacking “America’s team”?
It can’t be physical, cause physically he’s got all the talent in the world. It’s gotta be in his head. There’s something about a guy like Tony Romo that leaves you with this feeling that he just doesn’t have “it”. The intangibles, the heart, the resolve to lead his team all the way and put his team of his back all fall under this “it”. But then you watch what he does against the San Francisco 49ers, coming back with his team reeling in what could have been a season crusher and leads them to a much needed victory with a collapsed lung and broken ribs. He follows that up with a gutsy performance where he leads a shorthanded and frankly unprepared team to a gritty 18-16 victory. These two games would indicate that he may very well have “it”. He took a team that was down and out and turned them into winners two weeks in a row, and that is what championship caliber players do. He follows this up with one of the better live football halves (plus a third quarter touchdown drive) that I have witnessed from a quarterback, and had his Cowboys sitting pretty with a 24 point lead against one of the three remaining unbeaten teams in the NFL. But then it happened yet again. Romo comes into the second half, and the collapse starts with an inexcusable throw that Bobby Carpenter, a groomsman at Romo’s wedding, picks off and takes back to the house. It was just a missed read, with Tony failing to realize that Carpenter was dropping back into that zone. I’ve watched many a Tony Romo games in my life, as he is one of my favorite quarterbacks, and in fact there has only been one week in four years in my fantasy league that someone else started him. So believe me when I say this turns into a classic Romo story. Instead of accepting it, seeing he still has a 17 point lead and shaking it off, it inevitably rattled him. He looked rattled. He had that “Tony Romo” face where he wants nothing to do with anything, especially football. We all know what happens next, and instead of heading into the bye with a (3-1) mark and sharing a lead in the NFC East, they go in on a completely different and very sour note that has the Cowboys playoff hopes in question.
Personally I feel that part of the Tony Romo problem is the Dallas Cowboys. You don’t lose all these games and blow leads like that without some help from everyone else. The Jets game, a blocked punt is what ultimately made that game close, but was completely overshadowed by two Romo turnovers. The Detroit game showcased just why the Ryan brothers need to stop talking, cause whether triple or single covered they could not even slow down the Matthew Stafford-Calvin Johnson connection that has turned into one of the most potent in the league. I’d also like to see Jason Garrett call some more high percentage plays. There’s no need with that lead to throw the ball down the field on first down. Give it to Felix Jones, Demarco Murray and Tashard Choice and run some high percentage passes. Punting is not a bad thing with that lead. Even with all of that, the blame will always falls on Romo, which ultimately is how it always will be. Your the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, and you always show glimpses of what your capable of. In fact, you know your job is never danger because of that talent, but the people in Dallas are not going to put up with it much longer. Eventually there comes a time where you stop getting the benefit of the doubt and people start questioning whether of not you really could be that guy.
So the last question I suppose would be does he have it? Does he have that certain quality that all Super Bowl winners do. Will he ever have people trusting him in the later parts of games, getting that feeling that he’s going to do it when right now its always the exact opposite? Or are we just going to have to take to it as we see it. It is possible that he will always be destined to put up gaudy statistics but just doesn’t have it in him to win the big one, and maybe it’s time for Jerry Jones to put his eggs in someone elses basket. Hell, Deion Sanders thinks so.
I think if the Cowboys can shore up the problems in the secondary and at offensive line, this team has the personnel to truly contend for a title. I also think they have the quarterback who can lead them there, he’s just gotta get this monkey off his back of him choking with performances such as the 49ers one in games that really count. I believe he’s got it in him and I do believe he is a championship caliber quarterback, and a win against New England coming off a bye would go a long way in getting the story of Tony Romo back to where the Cowboys and Tony himself want it to be.