I have read numerous posts about leadership, and the perceived lack of it on the Cowboys. Who will lead the offense? Who will lead the defense? Is Romo a leader?
How do you define leadership?
Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart was asked to define ‘hard-core pornography' and he said, " .. it's very hard to define, but I know it when I see it." Leadership is like that as well. I know it when I see it but it is very hard to state exactly what it is.
Webster's Online Dictionary talks about ‘transactional' leadership, or leadership measured by the number of followers a leader can muster as opposed to ‘transformational' leadership where the leader sets the standard for performance. I believe we are all looking for a transformational leader or leaders to emerge on this team. Perhaps they already have.
The Triplets were the ‘transformational' leaders of their team by virtue of their performance on the field. They made the plays. They set the standard and others followed. There was also a coach on the sideline who would not hesitate to berate a player for poor play. Some will cite the image of Aikman barking at a player in the huddle as an example of his leadership. We will never know if that act caused the player to raise his game or not. What truly made Troy a leader was his on field body of work, along with the support from other transformational leaders on the team and sideline, and not his vocal chastisements.
Romo's stats on the field of play qualify him to be a leader although many still don't feel like he has grabbed the steering wheel. I think Romo has been a quiet leader on the field, but he may need to be more vocal this year. I think he needs the support of coaching staff to call a player out on the carpet when he hurts the team. I hope this year there will be more outspoken leaders on the field and sidelines in addition to Romo which can lift the standard of play of all members. Jason Witten, maybe Marion Barber, maybe Roy Williams or Tashard Choice could emulate the supporting cast that Aikman had. I think Romo has the respect of the team and he has performed on the field. This should be the year he grabs the wheel but he will need a supporting cast.
Will he display the leadership we are all clamoring for? I'm not sure, but I'll know it when I see it.