Tony Romo is one of the most polarizing figures in the world of sports. Some of that can be attributed to the position he plays, but mainly it's due to the fact that he is the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. The quarterback for Dallas has a legendary status attached to it because of Don Meredith, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.
Due to the history in Dallas, any quarterback that steps in under center will face a lot of pressure. The Cowboys are one of the most storied franchises in sports and the quarterback position has had some great players who wore the blue and silver proudly.
Staubach has been very supportive of Romo and wonders why he doesn't get more respect.
"One of the most important things a quarterback can do is transfer the confidence he has to his teammates so everybody can believe in each other. You can’t do it by yourself. It’s really a mystery to me why people don’t understand how really good (Tony Romo) is. The things he can do and the plays he can make, I’m sure Troy (Aikman) would say the same. I think this team is building to support a great quarterback like Romo. If your defense is doing a great job, you can do a lot of things on offense."
The Cowboys will have a tough decision to make with Romo, and no matter what decision they make, it will be sure to come under scrutiny from the media and fans. So what should the Cowboys do? One conversation starter that has come up during the weeks leading up until training camp is the future of Romo with the Cowboys' organization. After signing a six-year, $69 million extension during the 2007 season, Romo only has two years remaining on that deal.
What should the Cowboys do? Take the jump for more...
Keep Tony Romo In Dallas?
I am leaning towards extending him before his contract ends because Tony is a very good quarterback who can take this team to the promised land. It would make more sense to continue building the roster around the strengths of Romo because we will get the maximum output from our quarterback that way.
Since Romo has taken over as the starter, he has had his fair share of talent on the offense, but he has lacked the offensive line needed in order to take the Cowboys to the next level. Obviously he has had great wide receivers, tight ends and adequate running backs, but has Romo ever had the type of offensive line that Drew Brees or Tom Brady has had?
For starters, the scouting department needs to do a better job of evaluating offensive line talent in the draft. They have hit on basically only two lineman recently, Doug Free and Tyron Smith. There needs to be a stronger emphasis placed on acquiring offensive lineman that can protect Tony Romo.
If the Cowboys really want to win a Super Bowl, then they would be best off upgrading the offensive line similar to what they did with the secondary this year. I believe that the front office sometimes is a year or two late on evaluating personnel problems. They were definitely too late on rebuilding the secondary, so it wouldn't shock me to see them finally realize that they need to spend a lot more resources on upgrading the offensive line.
Brett Favre recently did an interview with Deion Sanders for the NFL Network and they discussed how Romo has carried this team.
"It's Dallas. And much is expected. But he's carried those guys, man. I mean, I'm watching last year, and I like Tony. And I like the way he plays. I think at times he's underrated."
Favre apparently believes Romo has to deal with teammates who aren't fully plugged into the Dallas gameplan.
"But I'm watching, and right before the snap, he's telling guys -- and you've probably seen it, too -- he's like ... "
"They don't know what they're doing!" Sanders jumped in.
"How in the world are you gonna have a positive play when the ball's coming and you're telling guys (where to line up)?" Favre went on. "But he'll make something out of nothing."
It has always amazed me at the way Romo lines up his teammates the way he does before the snap. Honestly I believe that it's one his most underrated aspects as a quarterback. For whatever reason, there always seems to be some sort of confusion, but Romo is always there to line everyone up.
Romo has the physical ability to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He is young enough where he still has time to win a championship in Dallas, and he continues to grow as a quarterback every season. I don't know what it would cost to keep him here, but I would be willing to give Romo another three years before I let him walk. I would like to see the Cowboys continue to build around Tony Romo, and if they ever give him an elite offensive line, Romo could be in line to break a lot of passing records.
Is It Time To Move On?
I am not in favor of letting Romo go after his contract ends, but let's take a look at that side of the argument. Romo has taken a lot of hits during his career as the starting quarterback in Dallas. We don't know how much longer he can take those type of hits and continue to play at such a high level. Two years from now we could see a totally different quarterback because a lot can change in a short time.
This isn't fair to him because this is a team game, but the quarterback is always looked when the team wins or loses. Romo has not had the type of playoff success that warrants the front office to place a lot of confidence in him. There have been some major meltdowns in big games, but Romo has also had a lot of success in the clutch. At the end of the day, quarterbacks are measured by their success in the playoffs, and Romo only has one win in the postseason.
If the front office believes that Romo will never win them a Super Bowl, then they should probably begin to look elsewhere when Romo becomes a free agent. Statistics are great on paper, but playoff success needs to start becoming a part of the Dallas Cowboys again.
There seems to be a perception that Romo is turnover prone, but ESPN analyst Ron Jaworksi believes that Romo is a good decision maker.
"I've always sensed the perception of Romo was that he turned the ball over too much," Jaws said. "That is dead wrong. In his last two full seasons, he's only thrown 19 interceptions in almost 1,100 attempts. That, my friends, is outstanding. Romo is, without question, a top-10 quarterback."
I may not agree with his ranking, but Jaworski points out that Romo has become a better decision maker the last few years. Romo used to be a lot more of a gunslinger, but we have seen him limit that mentality. Due to Romo growing as a quarterback in every aspect of the game, I would rather have him in a Cowboys' uniform and watch him continue to grow as a Cowboy. Romo is 32 years old, but he appears to be aging like a fine wine.
Romo faces a lot of tough criticism as the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, but unfortunately that's just the way it is. So what do you think? Should the Cowboys re-sign Tony Romo and continue to build around him, or should they move on when his contract ends? Have at it in the comment section.