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Shutdown Corner

Former NFL lineman says, ‘Tony Romo has not earned a dollar he’s been given in this league’

The problem with Tony Romo isn't that he's a bad player, it's that the mere mention of his name makes people lose all sense of logic.

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback has had his share of cringe-worthy plays, sure. But he's not a bad NFL quarterback. It's insane to think he is. He has played very well through his career. He hasn't had much playoff success, but that's not entirely his fault. Football, as we know, is a team game.

But he's an easy guy to rip. He comes from a high-profile team everyone loves to hate, and there's something about him that turns normally sane football fans and analysts into kids wailing away at a birthday party piñata. That's what happened when his name was brought up during a roundtable segment on CSN Houston and former Texans defensive lineman Travis Johnson weighed in.

Johnson said Romo is ... oh, let's just break it down FJM style, shall we?

"When Tony Romo got to Dallas, he had everything around him, and is a loser."

Romo sat and watched a 6-10 last-place Dallas team as a rookie. His second year the Cowboys went 9-7. They were 3-3 when he took over at quarterback in 2006. Dallas went 6-4 (and went to the playoffs) after he became the starter that season. That's a .473 winning percentage with Romo on the bench before he was promoted. Dallas has a .591 winning percentage in games Romo has started.

"At one time he had five Pro Bowlers on the offensive line."

That's not true. The most Pro Bowlers on Dallas' offensive line at one point since Romo became the starter is three, which is excellent, but still is not five. It's worth pointing out that over the last three seasons Dallas has had one Pro Bowl offensive lineman: center Andre Gurode in 2010.

"Because they have no passing game, so nobody's worried about the run."

Tony Romo has started more than 10 games five times in his career. Three of those seasons he finished third in the NFL in passing yards, and another time he finished seventh. His 4,903 yards last season is the ninth highest single-season total in NFL history. He has finished in the top 10 in touchdown passes each of his five full seasons as a starter.

"Tony Romo has not earned a dollar he's been given in this league."

Romo is second in Cowboys history in passing yards, first in touchdown passes and first in quarterback rating. And Dallas has had a better winning percentage with Romo as a starter than it did with Troy Aikman (Aikman's winning percentage as a starter was .569, Romo's is .591, and let's just agree that Aikman had a wee bit more talent around him).

(You don't believe that stat about Aikman and Romo, do you? Here's Tony Romo's pro-football-reference.com page. Here's Aikman's. I'll be here when you get back.)

(BONUS NON-ROMO RANT, on Texans QB Matt Schaub, comparing him to Romo): "(Schaub) can take this team to the Super Bowl. Can he win a Super Bowl? I don't know. It's a whole different ballgame when you get there."

What does this even possibly mean? So a quarterback is deemed absolutely worthy of taking his team to the Super Bowl, but not winning it? Wow. I'm going to go out on a limb and say if the Texans beat out New England, Denver, Baltimore, Cincinnati and the rest for the AFC championship, they'll have a chance of winning the Super Bowl.

"But he can take his team to a Super Bowl. Tony Romo is not that guy. He's a thief, he needs to be brought up on federal charges."

Schaub is 44-38 in his career as a starting quarterback. Tony Romo is 55-38. A win-loss record is not an accurate measure of a quarterback's career, as we know, but come on.

"He's killing the franchise right now."

Totally rational.

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