in defeat, for the most part, there's Romo throwing into the end zone, or driving for the final score. He may never win them all, but he gives you a chance.
And it's all about perceptions, too. One of Romo's worst games of his career occurred in Buffalo two seasons ago. You remember the five picks and lost fumble. Funny thing about that is Troy Aikman calls it one of Romo's best games. Simply for the fact he got off the mat, dusted himself off and rallied the team for late scores to win a game the Cowboys had no business winning.
This isn't about defending Tony Romo and his December swoons. He's played his worst football in the final month of the season. Because of that, it's no coincidence the Cowboys have played their worst football in the final month of the season, too.
Romo doesn't get a free pass. As the quarterback, so goes the team. And when he struggles, the team suffers right along with him.
My point is that there's no sense in piling on. If you want to say he can't win the big game, then put him at 0-3. Two playoff losses and last year's Philly game. One of which he dropped the snap as the holder in a game he had his team in position to win. Another game he played outstanding for the most part, but tried to force a pass into double-coverage on the final desperation play. He wasn't getting a lot of help from his line or receivers that day.
And in Philadelphia last year, Romo was tied with 52 others and an entire coaching staff for the Worst Game of the Year Award.
Big games, he's 0-3. Anything else you want to call big, he can match that with victories. Still, 0-3 is what it is. And it's not good. If you want to bash him for that, then give him three examples and move on. I'm not sure that's a big enough sample size to choose from, but when you're playing the same position as Staubach and Aikman, you don't get much time.
I've heard a lot of comparisons between Romo and Danny White this week. Maybe so, but I don't even think Romo is there yet. He hasn't lost three straight NFC Championship Games because he's never been there.
But you can see the similarities, if and only if, Romo's career keeps going down that path. And by that, I mean a quarterback with a lot of stats, a lot of wins, but never getting to the Super Bowl. For now, winning a playoff game would work.
Plain and simple, Tony Romo is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. That's not going to change. Not next week, or later this season or in the new few years.
Learn to love him, because he's not going anywhere.
It's almost like we try so hard to put him right there next to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Or on that same level with Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger.
The fact is, Romo isn't on that level right now. He may never be.
He may just be Marc Bulger, Matt Hasselbeck, Carson Palmer, Donovan McNabb, David Gerrard and someday, I think guys like Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers will be in this group, too. I'm talking about generally good quarterbacks but they've never really won anything. Yeah, they may go to the Super Bowl once, and win a few playoff games with some Pro Bowls sprinkled in here and there. But if you're looking for greatness game after game and year after year, you'll be disappointed.
Then again, all of those players have been THE GUY for their team. Win or lose, they're not going anywhere. Because of the financial commitments you have to make for a starting quarterback, what you have is what you have.
I'm not saying that Tony Romo will never be better than the aforementioned players. But right now, you don't know for sure that he won't be.
He's a really good quarterback. Way better than anything the Cowboys have had lately and probably better than about two-thirds of the starters around the league.
But for some people, that's just not good enough. And that's fine. You look at his $67.5 million contract and he should be held to a higher standard. That contract doesn't warrant just a "good quarterback."
Then again, it's the same contract that has the Cowboys invested in him for a while. So like him or not, frustrated or not, Tony Romo is the guy. And he's not going anywhere.