To pay Romo or not to pay Romo... Is it really even a question?

To pay Romo or not to Pay Romo?…. It’s not even a question.

Ok so maybe it is a question, a big question. As with any argument you have opposing sides, including rifts within the fan base itself. I have been reading different blogs and forums on this contract issue and both sides have valid points. There is a little game I play when it comes to friendly arguments or debates among my friends or family. I take the information (evidence) I have for my side of the argument and compare it to my opponents evidence and we decide who would win the argument in court, sometimes procuring an “unbiased” judge in the process. It’s a fun way to bring a little structure to small arguments. You all may consider yourself subpoenaed.

First things first. To help decide what side you are on you must answer a couple questions. Do you believe Romo was rewarded this contract based on what he has already done? Or do you believe Romo was given this contract based on what we believe he can do? Believing one or the other completely changes the dynamic of the conversation and might help you figure out exactly what side you are on. I believe we paid Romo based on what he can deliver. It seems many people that believe Romo received too much money believe we are paying him based on what he has already done. Inevitably, there are people out there that believe we paid him for what he will do and we still overpaid. Those guys are generally untenable trolls that show up to hate on the Cowboys simply because they are a Giants or Eagles fan. I suppose they could be Redskins fans too, but the Redskins just became relevant again last year and I’m still getting use to them having anything to say… I’m joking of course. But for the sake of the argument let’s keep it simple. Either you believe Romo deserved what he got paid or you believe he didn’t deserve it.

I am going to argue that Tony Romo is worth his new contract. Instead of cross examining myself I will leave that to people in the comments section. If you believe Romo simply got too much money then let the comments section be a platform to voice your opinion against me. Let the trial of “The People Vs Romo” begin.

Opening Statements:

Tony Romo, statistically, is the greatest quarterback in Dallas Cowboys franchise history. His impact on the football field cannot be questioned. His strength, leadership and toughness cannot be questioned. There are so many variables that affect the outcome of one football game; it begs the question, how can Tony Romo be to blame for all of the teams shortcomings? I’ll tell you the answer, it is that he can’t. For years people have been blaming Romo for the lack of playoff appearances by the Dallas Cowboys. First it was “the fumble”, then a couple unfortunate interceptions here and there. I might remind you that Romo was still learning, maturing and getting use to the speed of the game not unlike most inexperienced quarterbacks in the league. So, now that Romo is a statistical giant in the league but isn’t winning, what do people have to blame Romo for? Nothing. There is nothing that people can factually argue about Romo. So then, what do people attribute to Romo’s lack of success now? They say he has a “mental block”. It’s almost laughable. Something that can’t be proven with facts or numbers. “Romo is a great quarterback for my fantasy team but he has a mental block, he will never win the big one”. Is that a fact? No, I am really asking, is that a fact? Again, no, it certainly is not. I believe Romo’s “mental block” is not having a consistently good offensive line, inconsistent play from the defense, injuries and the lack of a running game. That is Romo’s “mental block”. To argue that Romo wasn’t hugged enough as a child or has mommy issues or any other psychological cliché is to concede your argument to me. When numbers stop mattering; when the best you can do is blame the psychological makeup of someone as to why they can’t win, you might as well be waiving the white flag and I will prove it. As this trial moves forward not only will you see that Romo is not to blame but that he is in fact capable of winning a Super Bowl.

Exhibit A: The running Game

Last year was the worst the Dallas Cowboy running game has ever been. The Cowboys ran for 1,265 yards last season as a team. To put that into perspective that is about 1,500 yards less than the leading team. It is over 600 yards lower than the Super Bowl champion Ravens. Our backfield has been as inconsistent as any in the league that last few years. Statistically things get better the further back you go but Dallas hasn’t had a consistent back that could be counted on since the great Emmitt Smith. We have had injury problems, lack of attention on the position from coaches leading to a severe injury for Romo and even pulled guys up from the practice squad in order to fill voids. The position is vital but the attention the team has spent fixing the issue does not match the positions significance. A consistent running game could be the difference in going home early or making a playoff run.

Exhibit B: The defense

Since 2007 the Dallas Cowboys have been ranked on average 22.6th in the league. In that same time frame if you average out the overall team defensive ranks of Super Bowl winners it averages at 9.1. Evidently, there are issues with the defense. If we could get our defense inside the top ten… That might be the difference between going home early and a Super Bowl.

Exhibit C:

This is an article on why Peyton Manning can’t win the big one. Why he can’t win the “one and done” games. John Elway and Peyton manning both had the same stigma as Romo. In the first 6 years of Romo’s career as a starter (minus the year he was injured) he averaged 27.6 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. In Manning’s first 6 seasons as a starter he averaged 27.8 touchdowns and 18.3 interceptions. Elway in his first 6 full seasons as a starter averaged 18.8 touchdowns and 16.8 interceptions. Both guys “couldn’t win the big one” and both ended up winning the big one. Elway is a hall of famer now and nobody can argue that Manning isn’t a first ballot hall of famer. Elway’s drop off in numbers can be attributed to the evolution of the league but relatively speaking can still be used. These numbers are eerily similar and the stigma is precisely the same. So if you tell me history is bound to repeat itself, I would believe you.

Closing Statements:

Tony Romo is a fantastic quarterback. If not for the spotlight in Dallas Romo could be having a brilliant and praised career instead of being blamed for Dallas not winning a Super Bowl. He’s about to be in his eighth season as the starting quarterback for the Cowboys. Isn’t that about when most quarterbacks are supposed to be right in the middle of their prime? Tony Romo has been a lightning rod for criticism over the years but to contend that he is not worth the money he is receiving is to contend that we are better off without him.

The defense rests.

Now, that is my argument. Feel free to tear into it. Remember I kind of wrote what I was saying as absolute. That’s not necessarily because I believe everything I said to be absolute but I was operating as if I were trying to persuade a jury. There are certainly points to be made against my argument and I am quite aware of a couple but for the most part I believe my argument to be strong and reasonable. Let’s see what the other side has to say.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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