Let’s play a little word association.
What comes to mind when you hear the name, Tony Romo?
Choke artist? Bobbled snap? Does two playoff win? How’s this…..MVP. No one seems to throw this one around nearly enough. Of course, last season was the exception, when Romo was the only other player (other than MVP Aaron Rodgers) to receive a first-place MVP vote.
Let’s face it, Tony Romo is the Most Valuable Player to the Dallas Cowboys. If it wasn’t clear by his spectacular play on the field last year, it sure as hell was with him off the field most of this season. Was his absence the only reason the Dallas Cowboys finished with an abysmal 4-12 record this season? Of course not. There were plenty of other factors, but missing Romo was obviously the biggest obstacle to overcome. With Romo this season, the Cowboys were 3-1, averaging 21.25 PPG. Without him, they finished with an awful record of 1-11, averaging 15.58 PPG. I could throw out numbers like that all day, but those only mean so much. Leadership is a key reason why Romo is missed. Sure, his play on the field makes a huge difference, but I would say his leadership is just as important, if not more.
Plenty of “nay-sayers” out there think Tony Romo’s best days are behind him. Is it possible? Of course, it’s possible. He is a 41-year-old QB, who over the last 6-7 years has broken the same collarbone 3 times, had major back surgery, and has had broken ribs and a punctured lung. That’s a lot for any player. But Romo isn’t just any player. I urge anyone to look me in the face and say (with a straight face) that Tony Romo isn’t one of, if not the toughest player in the league. That toughness is probably what cost him his most recent hairline fractured collarbone. Similar to Dez Bryant and his passion, namely on the “catch” in Lambeau last year, you love that characteristic, but it can also come back and hurt you. Is Romo done? I don’t think so….is he going to have another MVP type season, probably not. For the Cowboys to succeed, he doesn’t really need to be. The Cowboys no longer need him to play “hero”, but he does need to be on the field.
Yes, I am a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan. Yes, I am a huge supporter of Tony Romo. That doesn’t make any of the above statements any less true.
The thing about a 4-12 season is, you usually can’t attribute it to one deficiency, so you won’t see me sitting here saying, “Tony Romo being hurt is the ONLY reason the Cowboys had a 4-12 season.” What I will say is that many things need to be reevaluated this offseason, including coaching. I’ll save most of this for a later post, but if your receivers aren’t getting open, you need to change something schematically. If your star QB is oft-injured, you should probably invest in a reliable backup or at least one with potential. It starts at the top, something needs to change…if only you could fire an owner somehow…haha.
No player who plays 4 games in a season will ever be considered for MVP, but if it was going to happen, there is a strong case for Tony Romo this year….whether you like it….or not.
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