September 24, 2009
Tony Romo(notes) had a really bad game against the Giants on Sunday night. A really, really bad game. In a contest where the Cowboys were able to run the ball with ease, Romo threw three interceptions, all of which led to Giants touchdowns and directly handed a prime-time, network television win to the evil, hated Giants.
Romo was awful. He knows it. He admits it.
Does one bad game make him a bad quarterback, though? To some, evidently, it does. Former running back and Cowboys legend Tony Dorsett lashed out at Romo in a radio interview earlier this week.
"I don't know why on God's earth Tony Romo has been anointed a superstar in the National Football League. Tony is very young in his career. Not to say you can't be young in your career and be a superstar because you've got one up there in Minnesota in Adrian Peterson.
"But the thing is this: You have a guy who hasn't done much, and quarterbacks in the NFL, most of them go through this growing curve. He hasn't gone through that growing curve, but he was anointed this great player all of a sudden. Now he's having to live up to that. And obviously Tony has some deficiencies.
"He's a good player who's still learning how to play in the NFL, and I think the media has given him too much credit for doing nothing. He hasn't done anything really in the NFL to deserve all the recognition and visibility he's gotten so far."
Now, far be it from me to question the judgment of a Hall of Famer like Tony Dorsett, but I'd like to respectfully disagree here. Romo, while young and with still a lot to prove, isn't some bum. He's not out there "doing nothing." He wasn't "anointed" a great player. He earned it.
Look at the numbers: For three straight years, Romo's had a quarterback rating in the 90s, putting him in the league's top 10 all three years, and in the top five twice. Are we going to pretend that didn't happen? Does that not count, for some reason?
He is the active NFL leader in yards-per-pass-attempt -- ahead of Brady, Manning, Roethlisberger, Warner, and everyone else. He's fourth all-time in the same statistic. He was second in the league in passing touchdowns to Tom Brady's(notes) other-wordly 50 in 2007. He's been to two Pro Bowls.
No one handed him those things. He earned them by being a damn good quarterback.
Now, all of that said, it's true that he's yet to win a playoff game, he's failed in some big moments, and in Dallas, they're used to winning playoff games and Super Bowls. I get that. But honestly, has Romo been the only flaw on the team? Is he the sole reason the Cowboys have lost those big games? Absolutely not.
And I will grant that some of Tony Romo's notoriety comes from being Jessica Simpson's love interest for a while, but let's not get it twisted. He's been a good quarterback, too. Dorsett's talking about Romo like he's Rex Grossman(notes) or something. Tony Romo has played at a very high level for the last three years, and one bad game in prime time and the scorn of Tony Dorsett can't erase that.
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