Eatman: Romo Clutch Enough For This Guy

If it's one thing I've learned about the NFL and especially the Cowboys, it's that everyone has an opinion. And you don't have to be here in Dallas or go to the games to have one. And by Tuesday afternoon, not even 48 hours since Sunday's loss to the Jets, it seems like everyone has voiced theirs, especially if it involves one Tony Romo.

And remember, they're all opinions. With that, no one is wrong. We might be misinformed sometimes or have a tendency to be biased, but no opinion can really be wrong.

Personally, I don't think Tony Romo is a choke-artist. I've seen him play enough games to know that he's a clutch player. Now, obviously you can make the argument about "big" games, but what's a big game? Playoffs? Yeah, you win. He's 1-3 in the playoffs.

After that, they're all the same. They're all big games. I'm sure if he goes out and lights it up this week in San Francisco and the Cowboys take a W back from the Bay Area, most of his critics will downplay because it's just the 49ers in a Week Two game that most of the country missed. But you don't think this week is a big game? It's probably bigger, especially if the Cowboys lose and go to 0-2.

My point is that I've seen Romo succeed much more times than he's failed. The numbers even support that.

In 66 career starts, Romo is 40-26 as a starter. There have been seven games, including Sunday night, where the Cowboys entered the fourth quarter with a lead, and lost. Two of those games were in the playoffs in 2006 and 2007.

Seven times. Is that a lot? And of course, that stat can be somewhat misleading especially if the quarter switched while the opponent was driving and scored early in the fourth and won. Things like that happen.
That being said, let's take the next stat with the same mindset. Under Romo, there have been eight games in which the Cowboys entered the fourth quarter trailing but rallied to win. That includes wins over Peyton Manning and the Colts, and those wild comebacks in Kansas City and Buffalo.

Seven times one way, eight times another. In essence, that's pretty much what Romo has been. He's the guy who will freelance at times and play with a ton of confidence. Sometimes, the gunslinger makes the play. Sometimes, he makes it for the other team.

As a fan, I know they think they've seen this story too many times, but really they haven't. You see the comeback wins just as much, if not a little bit more, than these disappointing losses.

What I think is a shame is hearing people like Kordell Stewart sit in a TV booth and say Romo had the most disappointing Week One performance by a quarterback. Seriously?

I know what happened in the fourth quarter. I know Romo has to make better decisions. But let's not forget how well he played until then. Be mad at him for those two plays in the fourth. Be grateful for those 63 plays before that.

Trust me, if this guy can play that way against those cornerbacks, that defense, behind that offensive line and in that playing environment, he can play for me any day.

You may not think he's an elite quarterback. But he's definitely in that second tier of players. And for this team, that's good enough for me.

Again, that's my opinion. Everyone has their own. And this week, we've heard most of them.

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