Dec 30, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws a pass during the second half against the Washington Redskins at FedEX Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA Today Sports

Quarterback Rankings: No. 13

Every two days, Rishi Pochiraju will reveal a quarterback on his grand list of quarterback rankings. Each quarterback will receive a grade out of 50 – 10 points for each category. See his page for earlier ranked quarterbacks. Up next: number 13.

#13. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo has “earned” a reputation in this league for his lack of play in big moments. He’s 1-6 in his career in games Dallas needed to win in order to play the next week. However, as much as some hate to admit, Romo is perhaps the biggest reason for the Cowboys’ moderate success in his time as a starter.

Last year, Dallas started 3-5 and battled back all the way to the final week of the season – where they were taken out of contention – but Romo turned the fate of the team around.

He’s going to have to produce the same way as he has, and even better in clutch moments, if Dallas wants a shot at the NFC East title.

Physical traits and athleticism

Listed at 6-2, Romo stands at a good height for a quarterback. He easily sees over linemen and doesn’t have an issue with batted passes. His athleticism is underrated – he has the ability to scramble out of the pocket, turning plays that look to be going nowhere into 20-yard gains through the air. He can also tuck the ball and run for a first down, if needed in the ideal scenario. Grade: 8/10

Arm talent

Romo has a very strong arm that allows him to stretch the ball down the field to well-known targets such as Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Jason Witten. He doesn’t rely on his arm too much, as his mechanics aid him in this way, and the ball gets out with plenty of zip. He’s capable of throwing perfect fade routes, relying on his arm. Although he can be a gunslinger at times, as we know, his general arm talent is on point. Grade: 8/10

Mechanics

Although it sometimes may look as if Romo throws with a type of sidearm wind-up, his release is one of the quickest in the league among all quarterbacks. His throwing motion is precise, aided by a good shoulder rotation and release point. His throws, when his feet are set, are almost always accurate, but when they aren’t, the ball sails. Grade: 8.5/10

Mental make-up

Most of the throwing errors the Cowboys’ starter makes are because of mental errors and bad decisions. Romo is a seasoned veteran who’s arguably in the prime of his career, and he’s learned a great deal since he became the starter. He does everything required out of a solid NFL quarterback mentally, but simply makes bad decisions at times (which happen to be the worst times to make a bad decision). Grade: 7.5/10

Intangibles

Romo is a hard worker, and a leader of the Cowboys’ locker room. He’s one of the longest-tenured Cowboys currently on the roster, so that speaks for itself. He’s lifted his team in some moments, and brought it down in others, and he needs to stay consistent. Grade: 8.5/10

Overall impression

Tony Romo has been in the league for ten years now, and has shined and has also had his down moments in Big D. He’s a solid quarterback with star potential – his team just needs to make it happen and stop worrying about the “window” closing on them. Overall Grade: 41/50

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