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…