It’s OK Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo didn’t make The NFL Networks Top 100 because, though filled with talented players, the list has nothing to do with talent.
You can decide for yourself, of course, and probably already have depending on if your favorite player made the list. If your favorite player did, like Cowboys LB/DE DeMarcus Ware at #12 for example, you might find the list to be a validation of sorts because D Ware is talented. Don’t be fooled.
Most credible NFL talent analysts place Tony Romo anywhere from the 7th to the 11th best QB in the league. That is based on talent and statistics. That means that these talent evaluaters think there are 6 to 10 QBs in the NFL right now who are better than Romo. I can accept that. If we are honest, even the biggest Romo apologists and Romosapeans like me, figure he fits somewhere in that bottom half of the top 10 QBs bracket.
The fact that Romo was left off this years NFL Networks Top 100 players list, in it’s self, doesn’t make the list not credible. That 14 other QBs are on the top 100 and Romo is not one of them, does. This is a peer generated list. That means that Tony Romo’s peers consider him no better deserving than the 15th best QB spot or worse.
Clearly, there are 2 criteria these nameless peer players use to evaluate who gets on the list: 1 – popularity, 2 – What have you done for me lately. I guess thats fine, but the clear FACT that talent is NOT one of the 2 criteria they use gives this top 100 list zero credibility.
The NFL Network Top 100 list is only viable if you read it with the knowledge that it is not the BEST players, only the FAVORITE players of the other players in the league. If you look at it that way, it is still kind of interesting in a – who are the player’s favorites – kind of way. A peer fanboy list, if you will.
The Dallas Cowboys own massive hype machine, led by Cowboy’s owner, Jerry Jones, doesn’t help Romo, it actually hurts how he’s perceived by his peers, because there are only 2 types of NFL football fans (and this includes players in the NFL as well): The ones that love the Cowboys, and the ones that hate them. There exists no benign middle ground, not for the Cowboys. Tony Romo, being the face of the franchise, by association, is looked at the same way.
Romo doesn’t do anything, it seems, to help his cause. To get his peers to like him better. He doesn’t necessarily care what his peers think of him. To Romo, playing in the NFL is not a popularity contest, it’s more like a gift of an opportunity to do what few people have the talent or chance to do, especially an undrafted free agent from a AA college program. (On a related side note, I wonder how the word ‘overrated’ fits in with a plausible top 10 NFL starting QB, who is the only undrafted free agent QB starting in this league)
Anyway, as I said, Tony Romo doesn’t do anything (and doesn’t need to) to get his peers to like him better. Couple that with the sports media’s way over hyping of Romo when he first came on the scene, replacing Drew Bledsoe at halftime in that Giants game in 2006, and you have the perfect storm of peer envy of the hype surrounding Romo and Romo’s disregard of what his peers think of him. That perfect storm creates unsubstantiated hate.
You would think that NFL players would understand that the sports media and fan bases create these perceptions and that how you perform on the field of play would be the only criteria for deciding who are the 100 best players among themselves. They don’t. They watch TV and read the articles online just like the rest of us do. I’m not quite sure what to think of that.