Eatman: Top 100 Evident of Romo's Increased Respect

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IRVING, Texas - He still hasn't led his team to the playoffs since 2009. He still has the one playoff win under his belt.

He hasn't made a Pro Bowl in four years, and in that span, his record as a starter is 25-28.

Yet, it's pretty clear that Tony Romo has gained some respect, at least from the players' standpoint.

Say what you want about the NFL Network's Top 100 Players list, which is voted on by the players themselves. How the voting works is suspect because it doesn't sound like every player gets a vote on every guy.

Still, the league figures out a judicious way to vote and this year, after getting left off the list completely in 2013, Romo made it back at the No. 71 spot.


Who cares? Yeah, some people may not. Personally, I've always thought the list was kind of bogus and I'm not saying that I've changed my tune.

What is odd is the change for Romo, when he really doesn't have a lot to show for it.

So what was it? Personally, I think it was the Redskins game back in Week 16, which happened to be the last game Romo played. That's when Romo initially suffered the herniated disk in his back. It occurred on a critical third-down play in which he eluded a rusher and managed to free himself to complete a first-down pass to Miles Austin. Clearly, Romo was in pain but managed to fight through and eventually lead the Cowboys to a much-needed win over Washington to keep their playoff hopes alive.

After that was when the injury was officially diagnosed and surgery was needed immediately.

If anyone understands what kind of feat Romo pulled off by finishing that game with that injury, it's the players. They all have their share of injuries and probably all of them have dealt with some kind of back issue – however major or minor it might be.

You really can't function much in football or even life with a bad back, so what Romo did in that game probably resonated with players throughout the league.  

Just like some fans are ready for a change, there are others who see it differently and believe he's the best thing the Cowboys have, but that he has no supporting cast.

Just like the majority of the players that voted on this list believe Romo is among the best in the game, there are others who probably laughed at their TV screens and yelled "one playoff win." [embedded_ad]

I would like to think these top picks like Matt Stafford, Sam Bradford and Matt Ryan should force people to appreciate Romo a little more. And that's not even to mention the guys like Mark Sanchez and Blaine Gabbert.

You can say Romo has been 8-8 the last three years all you want, but the fact of the matter is this: Romo and the passing game has consistently been the best thing the Cowboys do.

They don't run the ball with consistency. They certainly haven't been playing great defense and the special teams has been a little above average.

Romo is still the best thing the Cowboys have. Throw in his toughness and that's probably the reason some of these players seem to have a higher opinion of him all of a sudden.

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