Dec 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) watches a play while on the sidelines during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium. The Saints beat the Cowboys 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Simply put, it’s Tony Romo’s time to shine.
Before all the die-hard Cowboys fans send this link to your fair-weather Giants fan friend, this is not about how Tony Romo is necessarily going to prove everyone wrong; he strictly has to.
There are plenty of stellar statistical references that will prove Tony Romo is a good QB. In 2011, Romo had the fourth best QBR (ESPN’s QB Rating Tool) only behind Rodgers, Brees and Brady. However, there’s only one stat that matters in the NFL: How many rings do you have? Rodgers, Brees and Brady all have championships. Romo doesn’t.
Like Romo, Ravens QB Joe Flacco took plenty of criticism before winning Super Bowl XLVII this past February. Though Flacco brought a good deal of that criticism upon himself by labeling himself as an”Elite” QB, he walked the walk, has a ring, a Super Bowl MVP to his name, and got his pay day from the Ravens organization.
Flacco, like an Elite QB would, led his team to the ultimate goal. Just like that, the chip is off his shoulder. Romo, it’s your turn now…
The intense debate of whether Tony Romo is or isn’t an Elite QB in this league is ultimately meaningless. At the end of the day, looking back on a player’s career, his ultimate legacy is defined by whether or not he can win the big game. If you think of the top five, 10, or 15 best QBs to play in the NFL all-time, all but one has a Super Bowl ring. All but one has a legacy defined by championships. That one outlier is Dan Marino.
Romo is a good QB. But, he’s no Dan Marino. Not even close.
Romo has made terrible wide-receivers look incredibly talented, and he’s made plenty of fourth quarter comebacks. However, he’s floundered fourth quarter leads, has only one…just one playoff win under his belt. He just can’t seem to put together his best when the playoffs roll around and big moment presents itself.
You can make an argument that based on Romo’s stats, he is among the top QBs in this league. But let’s face it, no one will care 10 years from now. When Romo leaves the game of football, he will not be known as a good QB, a great QB, or an “Elite” QB. Romo will be the guy who never got it done in a town where he’s expected to get it done. He’s either on the list with Drew Brees or on the list with Jim Kelly. Which one will it be?
Jerry Jones didn’t pay Tony Romo $100 million to win one playoff game. Jerry wants the ring. Jerry wants to show Jimmy Johnson and the world that he all on his own can build a winner (though that’s a completely different story in itself).
Romo has the tools, the experience, and the mentality to win in the NFL. He has a more stable running game this year with DeMarco Murray and fifth round selection Joseph Randle out of Oklahoma State. Most importantly, he has a very capable receiving corps.
No need to argue whether Romo is “Elite” or not. We’ll all know when it’s said and done. The window is closing, and he needs to quiet the critics before that window shuts. If he doesn’t, he’ll just be another QB who couldn’t get it done.
Now or never, it’s Tony Romo’s time to shine.