The Dallas Cowboys often receive the lion’s share of media attention, not to be confused with the Detroit Lions share of media attention which is infinitesimal since Barry Sanders‘ retirement. The Cowboys are under the radar this year partly due to their 2010 6-10 record in combination of their historically awful defense. With Rob Ryan and a healthy Tony Romo, it is possible the Cowboys will succeed on the field in 2011. It has been a decidedly quieter off season with few media members tapping the Cowboys as Super Bowl contenders.
During today’s broadcast of the Sports Reporters, John Saunders, Mike Lupica, Mitch Albom, and Howard Bryant discuss Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. (Most comments are paraphrased to make it more suited for reading.)
Saunders starts off the topic by saying, “Tony Romo is at the precipice of greatness, though Romo is not over the point yet.”
Romo has been great at times and incredibly productive, but he has had mixed results in the playoffs. There is a grain of truth to this as Romo has one win against the Eagles and losses against the Seahawks, Giants, and Vikings. Few people speak of Jay Fiedler‘s regular season record, but many are willing to debate Tom Brady as the league greatest quarterback ever because of 3 Super Bowl wins and 1 Super Bowl Loss. Romo is not to blame for the Terry Glenn fumble which lead to 2 points for the Seahawks (which is substantial in a one point loss), Romo was not to blame for the Amani Toomer TD where every Cowboys defender appeared to be unable to tackle nor was he to blame for the TD drive by the Giants with less than a minute to go before the half. A drive which inspired the Giants defense for the second half of the game. Romo has been great, but its concentration is reduced by the mediocrity of the surrounding team.
Howard responds, “Precipice of greatness? They are on the precipice of obscurity… Who’s talking about the Dallas Cowboys these days?”
Howard has a valid point. The Cowboys of the 80’s had zero Super Bowl victories, but they played in the NFC Championship game multiple times, made the playoffs consistently. The Cowboy’s of the 00’s, were awful to begin the decade and while improved, they were not reshaping the face of the NFL.
Albom states, “The Precipice is in the past for Romo, he is either through the window or not. Yes, they are off the radar for now. Dallas has that bounce back capability if they get good because they have that allure, that glow. Tony Romo has proven to be a great player, AT TIMES. His problem is that he is not a great player all the time…”
It is difficult to argue against Albom’s statements because they are so middle of the road. The Cowboys are below the radar, but if they win their first three games, they will definitely be among the most talked about teams in the league. And Romo has struggled at times, generally when he is trying to be too safe with the football. Being safe in combination with a shaky offensive line rarely will lead to positive results.
Lupica responds, “He is a great numbers hanger. I actually think he has talent and if he plays up to his level, he can make Eli Manning look like the third best QB in the NFC East… When he wins a big game, send up a flare.”
Until Romo contributes to winning a Super Bowl, he will never win a big game in the eyes of the national media. Beating an undefeated Indianapolis Colts team in 2006 won’t quality, beating Green Bay to all but clinch home field throughout the playoffs won’t quality, nor will beating Philadelphia in successive weeks eliminating them from contention qualify. Tony once addressed this phenomena of myopia by referring to Peyton Manning posting a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating in one week of the playoffs only to lose the following week. The media again went to the well of Manning being unable to win a big game. The well simply does not go dry except for the few who manage to hoist the Lombardi trophy.
Tags: Amani Toomer Barry Sanders Dallas Cowboys Detroit Lions Eli Manning Green Bay Packers Howard Bryant Indianapolis Colts Jay Fiedler Jay Fielder John Saunders Mike Lupica Minnesota Vikings Mitch Albom New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles Rob Ryan Seattle Seahawks Sports Reporters Terry Glenn Tom Brady Tony Romo