Let’s be real. I was at that game October, 23rd 2006 when Romo took over for Drew Bledsoe. If Coach Parcels was hoping for another Bledsoe back-up success story like Tom Brady’s, it didn’t happen. And it probably won’t.
Define success. Romo is one of the greatest regular season quarterbacks. Nobody can argue with his 5th ranked highest passer rating of all time. The season he took over they even got to the playoffs, a feat not accomplished since 3 years prior. But we all remember that infamous botched hold. Why was Romo still holding snaps? Why does Tebow play in the NFL? Some things we may never know.
Romo’s first full season with the Cowboys might have been the most promising. With 13 Pro Bowlers that team was destined for Super Bowl, right? Well they finished 1st in the NFC East, but lost to the Giants who went on to win the Super Bowl (and handed Brady his first of two Super Bowl losses. I had to get that in).
Dallas missed the playoffs the 2008 season and drama begins. Coaching drama, player drama, T.O. drama.
In 2009 the Cowboys make the playoffs as the number one seed in the NFC East and Romo has his first playoff victory over the Eagles! Then the Cowboys lose against the running of Adrian Peterson in Minnesota. Might I add the Cowboys couldn’t even score a touchdown that game.
Since that 2009 season, the Cowboys have been sub par, not to mention falling short of the playoffs each year, a couple of those came in elimination games week 17. But the multi-billion dollar franchise can’t seem to pinpoint the problem. First it was Marion Barber, so the Cowboys replaced him, and then later replaced Felix Jones. Then they got a new head coach, who later got fired and ironically coaches the best defense in Houston. Then the offensive line had to go. Then it was the receiver position, so they canned Roy Williams. Then the other Roy Williams #31 had to go. Then Rob Ryan had to go. Who will deliver Christmas gifts this December??
It seems the Dallas Cowboys have refined every position from lines, coaches, secondary, running backs, and receivers. There have been two consistent players on that team, Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware. Every other position has been expendable.
But that leaves the quarterback position. Is that expendable? My answer…. YES!
I don’t want to mimic anything that happens in Philadelphia, but those fans don’t put up with failure. Can you imagine if Tony Romo was throwing balls in an Eagles jersey? He wouldn’t have lasted past 2009. I am sure of this. McNabb spent 11 seasons in Philly, won the NFC East 5 times, and lead the Eagles to 5 NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. Ironically McNabb’s last season in Philly they lost to the Cowboys. Maybe that franchise said, “Hey if we’re losing to the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs, something has to change!” And they booed McNabb out of town, despite his decorated post season. TEN playoff wins. Romo wouldn’t last on any other team in the NFC East.
I credit Romo’s six seasons in a Cowboys uniform on a perfect storm of previous terrible quarterbacks combined with his luck (which constantly battles with his unluckiness), sensationalism, and regular season stats. After Aikman retired, the Cowboys tried their luck with just about every quarterback, even Ryan Leaf. And thank goodness Quincy Carter wasn’t throwing to Michael Irvin. We’d never find out whose pipe that was…
And so we have it. Romo emerged as a Cinderella story, the easy on the eyes undrafted player with media charm. And he did have three decent complete seasons early on. But since 2009 Romo has made mental mistakes that have cost the Cowboys not only games, but a shot into the post season. It’s not all his fault, there are 52 other players. But let’s face it, the quarterback manages the offense. He has more at stake on that field than anyone else and should be scrutinized when mistakes are made on his behalf.
Look at the 49ers. Alex Smith was two terrible special teams mistakes away from making the Super Bowl in 2012. He had it though. Then the 49ers talk to Peyton Manning in the off season (JERRY SHOULD HAVE **PAID** PEYTON MANNING TO COME TO DALLAS). Then Smith gets knocked the hell out and spends some time with a concussion. And the 49ers take a gamble and keep Kaepernick on the field. Why? Alex Smith was winning. Well perhaps Kaepernick gave the 49ers a spark. You can see it on the other players’ faces, they love Colin Kaepernick. They trust him and he has given the 49ers a new swag.
The Dallas Cowboys need a new quarterback. Now I’m not in the locker room, I don’t know how the players feel about Romo or if the trust is there. I do know I haven’t heard anyone in the NFL talk about Tony Romo as they do RG3, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, even Tim Tebow as having this leadership force to be reckoned with. Romo may be for all we know, a great arm, high football IQ guy with no leadership. But the Cowboys are lacking a leader. And a breath of fresh air.
I say get a new quarterback to Dallas. I have never said this until now. The franchise has taken more of gamble by keeping Romo as the franchise player with zero results. Doesn’t Webster’s define that as insanity? Really, they have nothing to lose.