Time To Give Tony Romo His Due Credit
Tony Romo has been subject to extensive criticism throughout his NFL career.
While scrutiny comes with being a quarterback for a high-profile team like the Dallas Cowboys, Romo’s tenure was largely overshadowed by negative assessments.
Although he demonstrated moments of stellar play, he was often accused of faltering in crucial games.
Additionally, persistent critiques focused on his seemingly relaxed and carefree approach, occasionally leading to avoidable interceptions and lapses in ball security under pressure.
He acquired the unenviable reputation of being a turnover-prone player, a label that sometimes overshadowed his commendable achievements on the field.
Having faced Romo on the field, I can appreciate why some of his harshest critics perceived an element of nonchalance in his play.
In 2007, as a member of the Green Bay Packers, we traveled to Dallas to face the Cowboys.
Despite the game being firmly in the Cowboys’ control, Romo, while lining up under center, injected a bit of humor into the situation, sharing a laugh with himself just before the ball was snapped.
As fate would have it, the joke was ultimately on him. In his attempt to elicit a chuckle from our defense, he mishandled the handoff, resulting in a fumble we promptly recovered.
Without the Cowboys’ usually-dominant running game really working, Tony Romo bore the load of the offense on his shoulders, much as he’s done in the past.
Upon becoming his teammate in 2012, I noticed he maintained his laid-back demeanor.
What truly struck me, now that I had the chance to observe him day in and day out, was the immense effort he poured into his craft.
While his nature exuded a relaxed vibe, his approach to each day was anything but.
He dedicated significant time before and after practice to meet with offensive coaches and fellow players, meticulously dissecting game footage and fine-tuning the game plan for the week.
I witnessed him spending hours in the training room, whether for rehabilitation or as a preventive measure.
He was always thinking one step ahead. He stands out as one of the most dynamic players I’ve ever encountered, which might come as a surprise to some.
Moreover, he demonstrated leadership in the field. In 2012, I witnessed him seize control of games, such as his standout performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he threw for an impressive 341 yards, secured a QB rating of 111, and guided us to a thrilling overtime victory.
The subsequent week, he went head-to-head with the red-hot Drew Brees, amassing over 400 yards passing and a QB rating of 123.8.
We narrowly lost in overtime, but it wasn’t due to Romo’s efforts that day.
Watching him perform at that level throughout games made me truly appreciate his prowess.
Upon his departure from the Dallas Cowboys after the 2012 season, I firmly believed he was as close as any non-elite player (excluding Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or Peyton Manning) to making that leap.
I was convinced that all he needed was to catch fire at the right moment and lead his team on a Super Bowl championship journey.
Perhaps then, people would recognize the exceptional level he’d been playing all along.
Amidst the barrage of criticism directed at Tony throughout his career, he has quietly amassed statistics that rival some unexpected names.
Would you believe Tony Romo comes in second on the All-Time quarterback efficiency rating list? The lineup reads as follows:
1. Aaron Rodgers 2. Tony Romo 3. Peyton Manning 4. Steve Young 5. Tom Brady.
While quarterback rating doesn’t provide a complete picture and overlooks many facets of the position, it remains a positive indicator.
Finding oneself in such an esteemed company is undoubtedly a commendable achievement.
Following Sunday night’s impressive comeback victory in the wild-card round, it’s high time we acknowledge Romo’s contributions.
Faced with the unusual circumstance of the Cowboys’ typically dominant running game not quite hitting its stride, Tony Romo took the offense’s reins upon himself, much as he has done in the past.
This has often been a situation of caution, but not this time. Romo rose to the occasion, particularly in the pivotal moments of the game.
It all started with the critical 4th and 6 completion to his longtime friend and teammate, tight end Jason Witten.
Romo then sealed the comeback late in the game by locating Terrance Williams in the back of the end zone.
What truly made that play happen was Romo’s deceptive athleticism, deftly maneuvering in the pocket with his nimble footwork, creating the opportunity for his receiver to break free.
Sure, you can continue to critique Tony Romo for his previous struggles in high-stakes games.
But the times are changing. Romo has quietly elevated his game, no small feat given the intense scrutiny and bright lights of Dallas.
Personally, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, one day, he leads his team to a destination that many once believed was beyond his reach… a Super Bowl championship.