The Dallas Cowboys face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers tonight at 8:20p.m. Rodgers is entering his third full season as starting quarterback for the Packers; he lead the Packers to the playoffs last year and lost in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals in a shootout. In the span of two overtime plays, Rodgers missed a streaking wide receiver for what would have been a sure touchdown to getting sacked with the ball popping out into the hands of the Cardinals defender, Carlos Dansby.
Truly a painful loss for Packers fans to suffer through. So the real question is where are all the pundits asking why people legitimize Rodgers when he has yet to win a playoff game? It seems like a fair question considering every conversation surrounding Tony Romo brought up that exact same question. I will say in fairness that Colin Cowherd did ask this exact question weeks ago (though there was no mention of Romo), so the ENTIRE sports media isn’t blind to double standard that Rodgers is benefiting from.
Rodgers seems to get a pass. I believe it stems from his initial fall down the draft when it was possible he could have been drafted #1 overall by the San Francisco 49ers. Watching Rodgers on television was dramatic and it was difficult not to want to see him prove his doubters wrong. Afterall, it wasn’t his fault that other quarterbacks coached by Jeff Tedford had failed at the NFL level. Finally when he was drafted by the Packers, he was in the unenviable position of having to replace a legend (if that time ever came). He handled his apprecenticeship with class and dignity, even after Brett Favre reneged on his retirement.
Rodgers is bullet proof; however. He lead a team that was hosting the NFC championship game with a record of 13-3 the year prior to a dismal 6-10 2008 regular season record. Yes, the 2008 defense was porous, yes the running game was not as dominant, but I don’t believe Romo would receive the same benefit of the doubt. The 2010 Cowboys have been a remarkable failure up and down the line. The defense has been dreadful at times, the wide receivers are dropping balls which prevent touchdowns and lead to interceptions. The special teams have been far from special, and the o-line is a disgrace.
Before Romo’s injury, you could hear pundits remarking that Romo was an average quarterback (most notably Keyshawn Johnson). The only thing saving Romo’s reputation this year is that he is mercifully not on the field.
As indicated above, Rodgers gaff to the Packers’s 2009 playoff run is equally as painful to the fanbase as Romo’s gaff against Seattle. If anything, it is worse because it was done during the act of quarterbacking. Additionally, the game ended immediately at that point in time. After Romo picked up the muff, he ran for what could have been a first down or a best case scenario, touch down. Even after that effort came up short (by 1 yard), the defense still had an opportunity to give the ball back to the offense. The game wasn’t over. Also, what is ignored is the fact that if the kick was made, the Cowboys would have been winning by less than a field goal. The Seahawks had plenty of time to drive the field and steal the game from the Cowboys.
With Romo, the game was far from over. With Rodgers, the players were walking off the field.
Where is the outcry? Where is the justice? Where is Rodgers playoff win?