Sucks to be Tony Romo: A Dallas Cowboy Profile

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Let’s be clear about one thing first: Tony Romo is a multi-millionaire living in a great city inside a great state. He’s paid handsomely to play the best game in the world. He will retire around the age of 40, financially able to do anything he could ever dream of. He’s happily married and is a proud father. He plays the highest profile position on the highest profile team in the highest profile league in America. He’s a celebrity amongst celebrities. It’s clear things could be worse for him.

Nov 18, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws a pass during warmups before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

With that said, it’s certainly not all sunshine and rainbows for Tony Romo. The amount of bull feces he is forced to withstand on and off the field is completely unfathomable. No other player has been so unfairly (some fairly) criticized than the current starting QB of the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas is both the most loved and most hated NFL team…by far. So it’s really no surprise Cowboy haters specifically enjoy hating on Tony Romo. In an SI poll he was voted the second most overrated player in the NFL by his peers.

Interesting. Romo, an undrafted free agent is overrated huh? Romo, who hasn’t been selected to a Pro Bowl since 2009 despite posting his best statistical season in 2011 is somehow overrated? If players, coaches and fans aren’t overrating him then who is? Romo, who has never seriously been labeled “elite” and barely labeled “top 10″ by the national media is overrated? To borrow a line from The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means” (said by Inigo Montoya after “inconceivable” was used incorrectly for the ninth time). If the national media, retired players, and current players knew what the word, “overrated” meant, they probably wouldn’t find it appropriate to assign it to one of the most scrutinized and unappreciated QB’s in the league. Did I mention he was an undrafted free agent?

Nov 18, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) scrambles away from Cleveland Browns defensive end Juqua Parker (95) in the second quarter at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Cowboy’s fans are no more forgiving. Talk to Cowboys fans and you’ll see a near 50/50 split on positive/negative opinions of Romo. Dallas is a tough town for a professional athlete. Dallas sports fans in general are a demanding and intolerant bunch. If you do not produce and do so quickly – get outta town. We tend to form our opinions quickly and no amount of facts or logic will change our opinion. We all know we do this from time to time. Many who are reading this are part of the 50% who do it to Romo. So, the national NFL fan base hates Romo, his NFL peers think he’s the second most overrated, and roughly 50% of his own local fan base hates Romo. That’s pretty rough wouldn’t you say?

QB ratings don’t tell the whole story as they rather describe QB’s efficiency instead of who made the plays needed to win. So while a QB doesn’t need a high rating to be successful, look at the list and you’ll see there are no losers at the top. The numbers say Romo is pretty darn good. His career QB rating is tied with Peyton Manning for fourth all-time. It should be said the rules have changed since Romo’s forefathers were in the league. Rules now assist the passing game like never before. But even with these rule changes, fourth all-time is a pretty impressive place to sit. To compare him with current players: Drew Brees is at 7, Matt Ryan 12, and Eli Manning is at 41. True Eli and Drew have Super Bowls but we’ll get to that. The fact is Romo stacks up against his peers quite well.

Nov 18, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) is sacked in the fourth quarter by Cleveland Browns defensive end Frostee Rucker (92) at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Browns 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

But many say he doesn’t play well in the big game. There are many “big games” for a team each year but since most are only interested in discussing big playoff games, we will look at that. The sample for this is pretty small: 4 games. His success is minimal: 1 win. His career playoff QB rating is considerably lower than his regular season rating: 81.4 (still good for 24 all time). What does this mean? Does this mean he stinks? Does this mean it’s his fault the Cowboys have only won one playoff game since 1996? If you actually watched the games, the answer is an obvious, “no”. Keep reading…

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  • Sam Rosenbalm


    Pure, logic.

    I dare anyone to disagree with what was written, as doing so only proves a bias against Romo.

    They can spin it anyway they want, but what you wrote were facts.

    To hell with the haters.

    I believe with a great offensive line Romo would be elite. I believe he is better than Manning (NY).

    1. Brady
    2. Rodgers
    3. Brees
    4. Peyton Manning
    5. Romo

    • idris

      Agree 100%

  • Big D Fan

    This year yes, but Romo hasn’t always played behind a bad o-line. He makes bad decisions with the football. You can claim they are bad routes all you want. Look at the interceptions. Even if its a bad route, it can be identified before throwing the ball. But he will throw it anyway. He is anti-clutch. When the game is on the line he just doesn’t get it done.

    • Gary Hermenau

      That’s not true at all, or are you forgetting his broken shoulder? Good QB’s always have time to throw the ball. I’ve seen Brady have as much as 6 to 7 seconds to throw the ball. Romo is lucky if he get 2 seconds.
      Sooner or later the QB has to throw the ball. He has to try and make something of nothing, even if it means risking an interception.

    • philyew

      Strange then that his 4th quarter rating is so good. Strange that he has thrown the third highest number of 4th quarter TDs over the last six years, and has the fourth highest total yards. Even stranger that so-called “clutch” players like Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger have all thrown more 4th quarter interceptions.

      As Reid correctly points out, even when the OL was demonstrably better than this year’s edition, it was their monumental melt-downs against the Giants in 2007 and the Vikings in 2009 which doomed the post season attempts.

      Every mistake on Romo’s shoulders is amplified by 3-4 equally damaging mistakes by others. But in the end they all get dumped on him.

      Blaming Romo for the consistent failures on the team is a convenient way of not coming to terms with reality: Jerry Jones lucked into his early success because he allowed Johnson more power and authority than he has ever allowed since. Without the core of the team that Johnson built, the Cowboys have been little more (and often less) than mediocre for the last 17 years.

      Until Jones recognizes this and appoints a “football” GM with real authority, the personnel inhabiting the Cowboys’ roster will never add up to a Championship-winning team…or anything close.

      Romo may not be “elite”, but do you really think that this team could succeed consistently with all the other negatives at play, simply as a result of changing the QB?

      • Artie C

        agreed. and like this article mentions, we have eyes, and can anyone tell me that Brady would still be playing football playing behind this offensive line? Brady would have been killed, so would Peyton or our own Aikman for that matter.

    • FoxHunt

      Some of his lines have been OK, but he’s never had a 20 interception season. Eli has 2, and Brees has 2 or 3. In fact, since 2006, Romo is third among starting quarterbacks in least turnovers…behind Brady and Peyton.

      He’s also never had a top ten pass defense…which is a must to win any playoff games.

      • Artie C

        among all the stats shared in this story and comments, these were the most compelling to me: 3rd among starting QBs in least turnovers and never having a 20 interception season like Brees and Eli manning have. Romo has Jason Witten, thats it. No other player on this offense can be trusted – and this year, Witten couldn’t be trusted for a couple games. Romo seems to have lost a little velocity in his passes, other than that, his offensive line is not smart or athletic and garrett’s play calling is too complicated with too many checks.

    • ctcowboy1968

      It’s the Dallas D that can’t get it done. Up til this year, the D couldn’t hold Tony’s double digit lead with 5 minutes to go. And this year, the D can’t stop the other team from either scoring at will or getting a 3rd down stop on the opponents winning drive.
      Without Tony, this team doesn’t win any games. We always have a chance with Tony. He runs a great 2 minute drill. It’s not his fault Dez’s fingernails landed out of bounds vs the giants. Or that Bailey missed a 51 yarder vs the Ravens.
      He plays behind the worst OL in history. Both Mannings, Brady, Brees, etc, who stand like statues in the pocket, would be killed.
      Tony is having a bad INT (14) year which is directly connected to this awful OL. Brees makes $20 million per year and sets annual passing records and has 12 INTs (2 pick sixes last game vs the 49ers to lose that game). So does Brees suck?
      Tony carries this team. He is the most competiive player out there. He is not afraid of carrying the rock to win the game.

    • idris

      QB’s throw the ball before receivers break and come out of their routes. Their job is to trust the WR to run the correct route without hesitation. Timing and sync come into play.It is solely the receivers job to make sure he is running the right route. The QB is reading the D and going through progressions and expecting every WR to be where they are supposed to be without excuse.

  • Gary Hermenau

    If you swapped Romo for Brady, the performance of both teams would be about the same.

    • Cowgirlcas22

      as far as Brady goes his results would be much worse he is as immobile as they come.

    • ctcowboy1968

      I agree with Cowgirl, Brady wouldn’t last to half time behind the Cowboy’s OL. If he wasn’t dead, then he would be crying like a baby on national TV. Tony deserves combat pay for what he has to endure.

  • Cowgirlcas22



  • Cowgirlcas22

    THE OTHER POINT IS WHEN ROMO HAD T.O AND A DECENT RUNNING GAME, HE WAS AVERAGING 26 PTS A GAME, BUT THE DEFENSE Was giving up 28 he has been doomed for years. I think he would be a fool to sign an extension with Dallas there are too many teams with all the right tools but need a QB, who would sell the farm to get him. just look what AZ gave up to get a scrub like Kolb. this is a QB starved league and as for the haters, if Tony goes to another team and wins a Super Bowl then they will all say JJ was an idiot for letting him go. This is just how cynics are. they are never happy. maybe they need to recollect the lsit of QB’s after Aikman,