Not showing "leadership'" at the Pro Bowl. It's time to give that a rest.
Cowboys fans around the country know the mantra by heart: "Romo Sucks!" While an argument can certainly be made that if a quarterback gets the lion's share of praise when the team wins, he should also bear the burden of the losses; the last time I checked there are 53 guys on the roster and each one of them contributes to the success or the failure of the team. No man plays football by himself. Even though the "Blame Romo" game generates clicks, from both Romosapians and haters alike, it is time to put the fallacy to rest. Recently, Demarco Murray attempted to do just that. On Wednesday Murray made the rounds at ESPN talking up his quarterback. Jon Machota from the Dallas Morning News provides us with a recap.
On Romo's new contract
Naturally, one of the biggest issues the pundits wanted to know about was the $108 million dollar, six year deal that Romo just signed with the Cowboys. DeMarco made it abundantly clear that he felt that Tony was definitely worthy of the biggest contract in franchise history. He also added that even though there is pressure on the quarterback to live up to the deal, Murray added that it is not a burden that Romo should be forced to carry alone. The young running back added that it is time for the whole team to step up and win some games. No matter how well Tony Romo plays, success will not come unless his team mates also do their part.
On who is to blame for the lack of success
Murray stated that it is not Romo himself that has been the issue. In fact, he predicted a great season from the Cowboys quarterback, but added that the guys on the outside, the offensive line, and the running backs need to elevate their game to make things happen. DeMarco called on everyone from the #1 draft pick to the UDFA's to do their part. He said, "As individuals, we have a lot of talent, and we have to make plays for him." One of the key issues that was stressed was that Murray thinks that the team needs to be cohesive and win as a team, rather than relying on Tony this season.
On Romo's leadership
DeMarco Murray thinks that Romo is unfairly criticized for not being a leader. In part he mentioned that Tony comes in and takes control of the huddle, not only in games, but even in walk throughs as well. He holds all the guys accountable for playing up to their ability and for meeting expectations. Not only is he a vocal leader of the team, but Romo also leads by example. As an example Murray cited coming in at 8 o'clock in the morning to work out, at a time when no one else it there, and finding Romo there working hard. He also mentioned seeing Romo outside running in 120 degree heat to improve his conditioning. According to Murray, this is the type of thing the Cowboys see every day from their leader.
Although there is a great deal of pressure on Tony Romo to deliver on the lucrative contract he signed recently, the team knows that the ultimate responsibility rests on all of them. According to DeMarco Murray, there is no resentment of the deal, only a drive to help make it a good one for the team. Everyone knows that success will come from them all pulling together, and following the direction of the man that the whole roster sees as their leader. Murray has stated that every guy on the team is behind Tony Romo, and that they have his back. That is the best possible sign that this collection of football players are coming together as a team.
As a final shot, Murray did add that Tony has been spreading his wealth around. He joked that Romo had used some of that contract money to take him out for a couple nice dinners. I wonder when some ESPN joker is going to state that some guys will say anything for a decent meal.