Tony Romo has been ribbed by the media seemingly his entire career. Now, he’s dealing with a broken rib and a punctured lung.
He continues to be the NFL’s most fascinating paradox. Against a strong New York Jets defense, Romo threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns. Yet, at the same time, Romo somehow found a way to choke in the time that he needed to be in the clutch. Romo fumbled the ball on a third down scramble that gave the Jets momentum. He also admitted to the “dumb decision” to try to throw the ball to an injured Dez Bryan with less than a minute to play, giving Darrelle Revis the interception that led to a Jets go-ahead score.
Romo is famous for the botched field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2007 playoffs. In his entire career, he has only won one playoff game. The following week of the playoff win, he had three fumbles and an interception while being sacked three times. Instead of rising in the clutch, Romo completely shut down and the Cowboys lost 34-3.
What’s interesting is that Romo throws for high yardage and touchdowns, yet makes poor decisions in the final moments of the games. The result has left Romo 1-7 in his past eight starts at quarterback. Last year, Romo threw for more than 400 yards and three touchdowns against the Titans. That was all canceled out when he threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter, giving the Titans a 34-27 win. The next week, Romo threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns against Minnesota. However, once again, turnovers cost Romo the agme and two costly interceptions gave the Vikings a 24-21 win.
It seems that there is always an excuse waiting for Tony Romo. In 2007, he was the only starting quarterback also acting as a placeholder. During the 2006 season, Romo was the backup quarterback. When made starter, he should have lost his job as the placeholder. Many have also cited his past girlfriends as distractions to the highly talented quarterback.
Truth be told, I believe the problem is Dallas. Don’t get me wrong, Dallas has provided Tony Romo with plenty of weapons to insure his success. The problem is playing for Dallas. The Cowboys have always been compared to the New York Yankees. The “Yankees of Football”. Just as some players are not meant for the big market of New York, some players are not cut out for the spotlight that playing for the Cowboys brings. Look at Javier Vazquez, former pitcher for the Yankees, for example. In 2009, Vazquez earned himself 15 wins and had an ERA of 2.87. The following year after joining the Yankees, 10 wins and a 5.32 ERA. After being ran out of New York, Vazquez put up 11 wins with a pitiful Marlins team and surrendered a 3.92 ERA.
Where am I going with this? Dallas is a stressful place to play. Like the Yankees, every player is constantly under a microscope. Jerry Jones is the owner, and the GM, and the President. He’s too involved in the team, much like the Steinbrenners are too involved in the Yankees. The Cowboys are “America’s team” which can make Dallas a very hard place to play. The fact is, some players, no matter how talented they may be, just can’t seem to handle that pressure. And, as a quarterback, usually the face of the franchise, maybe a change of scenery is what Romo needs.