over the past 2-5/8ths seasons, Romo owns a 27-12 record (.692 winning percentage) and is 0-2 in his only playoff starts. His numbers: Completed 815 of 1,280 passes for 10,300 yards, 78 touchdowns and 43 interceptions, bringing his 39-game QB rating to 95. Let me spell that out for all those who have become incensed with Romo's supposed inefficiency: That's a QB rating of NINETY-FIVE.
Oh, and how about this: Romo has been sacked 65 times during his career, which includes two from that second half he played against the Giants in 2006 before taking over for good coming out of the locker room at halftime for Drew Bledsoe. And Aikman? When it came to sacks in those first 38 starts? Try 91 times.
You guys still with me here?
Not sure how many more times these numbers must be posted before they sink in, or the ones posted by Peyton Manning, the 1998 NFL Draft's first pick. Manning would start every game his first three seasons with the Colts (48), posting a 26-22 record (.542 winning percentage) and had a 0-2 playoff record. As for his numbers, Manning playing in a three-receiver, pass-happy offense, completed 1,014 of 1,679 passes for 12,287 yards, 85 touchdowns and 58 interceptions.
Remember, this is Manning, now considered one of the top two quarterbacks in the league, and his three-year QB rating was 85.38.
Wonder if Colts fans and the national media were screaming about the pressure being on Manning heading into the 2001 season, that he either needed to win a playoff game his fourth season as a starter or else he'd be considered no more than some Bert Jones the rest of his career? Well, if they did, then they were dead wrong since Manning and the Colts went no better than 6-10 his fourth season . . . and Manning would not win his first playoff game until his sixth NFL season, having gone 0-3 before leading the Colts to the AFC title game during the 2003 season, two months from his 28th birthday.
Amazing, huh? And now he's on his way to Canton.
But get ready. No amount of sound logic, numbers or comparisons will make a difference. Because when the Cowboys report to training camp on July 28 you will be inundated with stories about how this will be Tony Romo's make or break season. On how he's gotta win this year.
And it's sort of been going on already all summer. Why, I just read if Romo doesn't win a playoff game this no-excuses season he'll be considered Danny White, which really is a slap in the kisser to Danny White, who in his first three seasons as a NFL starter lost three NFC title games. Yeah, you think Quincy Carter would have traded his three-year mess for the right to lose three straight NFC title games? You think Steve Pelluer would have settled for that?
How about Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers, Jason Campbell, Philip Rivers, J.P. Losman, Carson Palmer, Byron Leftwich, Kyle Boller, Rex Grossman, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Patrick Ramsey, Michael Vick and Chad Pennington. Those are all but two of the quarterbacks this century selected in the first round.
The other two? Why of course, Ben Roethlisberger (two Super Bowl victories) and Eli Manning (one Super Bowl victory), both selected in the 2004 draft.
But for some reason, Romo is treated differently, and he wasn't even a first-round pick. Hell, he wasn't even a pick, period. Not even invited to work out at the NFL combine in 2003, only stepping foot that February in Indy to facilitate receiver and tight end workouts.
I mean it's 11 days until the Cowboys kick off training camp at the Alamodome with a press conference and welcoming concert, and already you have heard the ultimatums being delivered locally and nationally in print; on TV, radio and especially the internet, where no story ever can be too sensationalized. My advice to Romo is to print up some flash cards with standard answers for the first week of camp.
Because no one will be happy with his answer to this one unless he says something like, if we don't go 12-4 this season and advance to the NFC title game, my career will have been a complete failure, a waste of my