Romo haters we call them, and they are a dime a dozen. They are comprised of both Cowboys fans and Cowboys haters. The deride Tony Romo, calling him a choke artist and (wrongly) insisting that he “always” melts down at the worst possible time.
Never mind that in 100 starts (Sunday’s victory over the new-look Philadelphia Eagles was number 100). the undrafted free agent out of Northern Illinois has already surpassed Cowboys legends Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman in the record books on a number of fronts and, as Jean-Jacques Taylor points out…
By the time he retires, Romo will own virtually every notable passing record in franchise history. His career passer rating is 96.4, fourth-best in NFL history.
Only Staubach (114) and Aikman (165) have more starts at QB in a Cowboys uniform than Tony Romo. Danny White had 92 starts and Don Meredith had 85.
That is pretty heady stuff for a guy who was passed over by 32 teams, seven times each. There is no argument that Tony Romo is among the best undrafted free agent quarterbacks in NFL history.
“It’s a hard thing to do,” coach Jason Garrett said of starting 100 games in the NFL. “When people talk aboutBrett Favre and they talk about all of statistics — the passing yards and the completions and the touchdown passes — the one number I always think about is the consecutive-game streak.
“[Favre] started 297 consecutive games. He was available every Sunday, and that’s Line 1 in the NFL. Are you out there? Durability is important.”
Romo more prolific than Joe Namath
Joe Namath is an NFL legend, as much because of his bravado and braggadocio as his play. Namath famously predicted his Jets would upset the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Despite a pedestrian day from Namath and his offense, the Jets’ defense dominated the game and delivered the victory Namath promised. Did you know that Romo has already thrown for more yardage than Namath did in his entire career?
Here’s Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com:
When you look back at Romo’s 100 starts it gives you pause when you notice he’s thrown more passes than Joe Namath (27,747 to 27,663), has 189 career touchdowns and completed more passes through 100 games than Dan Marino, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Kurt Warner.
It may seem like blasphemy to mention Romo in the same sentence as Namath, Marino, Manning, Brees, and Warner, but facts are facts. The one thing those guys have that Romo does not yet possess is playoff success. All but Marino won at least one Super Bowl.
Romo’s post-season woes are his Achilles’ heel. His inability to lead the Cowboys to a championship, or anywhere near one, is the fuel in the tanks of his harshest critics.
Still, the Romo hate is difficult to understand. It is not like he has been abrasive or popped off at the mouth. He has not made excuses for his misfires. There is hardly any reason to detest him on a personal level.
Cowboys fans who deride Romo have to be afflicted with either ignorance or a short memory. Perhaps they forget the Quincy Carter-Drew Bledsoe era of Cowboys football. Maybe they forget how inept the Cowboys were at the quarterback position after the retirement of Aikman and before the emergence of Romo.
That Romo is among the top tier of NFL quarterbacks at this moment is only disputable if you choose to ignore both the facts and the eyeball test.
When you consider that the Cowboys franchise was mostly in the hands of Don Meredith, Roger Staubach, Danny White, and Troy Aikman from 1962 – 2000, you realize the standard for QB play in Big D is second to none. Romo has elevated the position back to that level in every way but one. If he should get that championship, or at least make a run at it a couple of times, before his career is a wrap, the arguments against him will be completely devoid of reason.
Here is hoping he is able to do just that.