The 5 most underappreciated players in Cowboys history
2. Tony Romo, QB (2003-16)
The case for greatness:
I know I’ll get some flack for mentioning Tony Romo on this list, but there have been very few players this talented to see the media scrutiny that this QB saw throughout his career. Even with all of that criticism, Romo performed incredibly well in his career.
He has a Cinderella-like story, going from a small school bench warmer to the face of America’s Team. For what it’s worth, Romo lived up to his (at the time) record-breaking contracts, at least statistically, regardless of whether the team that surrounded him did not.
Romo, a one-time All-Pro and a four-time Pro Bowler, ranks first in franchise history in career passing yards (34,183 yards) and career touchdowns (248), and he ranks second in franchise history in passer rating behind Prescott with a career rating of 97.1.
The former quarterback is also highly ranked in his career stats when compared to the rest of NFL history, as he is 36th in passing yards, 24th in passing touchdowns, 9th in passer rating, 7th in yards per attempt, and 11th in completion percentage, placing him ahead of numerous Hall of Famers. Romo was certainly not the best QB in NFL history, or anywhere close. But his numbers are Hall of Fame worthy, regardless of the postseason failures.
Why he’s underappreciated:
Perhaps the most overly scrutinized player ever, every mistake Romo ever made in his career was nitpicked with a fine-tooth comb by every sports analyst on ESPN. This created an aura of Romo being a choke artist. However, the QB had 24 fourth-quarter comebacks, which ranks 18th all-time.
To be fair, he did have some very memorable highly publicized failures. Some were on him, some were on his teammates. The botched field goal hold in the 2006 playoffs, the multiple losses in the divisional round after having the first-round bye, and his altogether 2-4 career postseason record have tainted Romo’s legacy.
However, Cowboys fans should be thankful for Romo. He rescued the Cowboys from mediocrity and a quarterback carousel that they just couldn’t escape. Whenever he was on the field, the Cowboys always stood a chance to win the game and you never knew when Romo was going to pull out some of his magic.
The Romo years were an incredibly fun time, where an often-injured Romo showed his tenacity and toughness and willed the ‘Boys and the patchwork rosters they surrounded him with to multiple playoff births. Romo will likely not be inducted into the NFL hall of fame, however, he will most certainly be inducted into the Cowboys Ring of Honor.