It's a tough question to hear as a Cowboys fan. And yet we're faced with it, in one form or another, so often. Is Tony Romo an elite quarterback? Can he ever be anything without a Super Bowl ring on his finger?
If you're anything like me, then the haters drive you crazy, too.
So I'm browsing sports online today and came across an article on Dallas Morning News' Sports Day blog about a poll of Texans. They asked questions about a lot of things, but what interested me were the Cowboys questions. Here are the results, as summarized by PPP:
Cowboys fans outnumbers Texans fans in the state 46/33. Tony Romo has a 39/24 favorability rating in the state but voters aren't too impressed with his football skills. Only 30% think he is a elite Quarterback to 35% who say he is not elite and 35% who are not sure. We also asked who people think would do the best job at QB for the Cowboys in the year 2016 and only 28% picked Romo to 27% who picked Troy Aikman (who's 49 years old) and 19% who picked Roger Staubach (who's 74 years old).
What does this guy have to do to catch a break? Win a Super Bowl?
Who ever said a quarterback is only as good as the number of rings on his fingers? Nobody says Dez Bryant isn't an elite wide receiver, but he has the same number of rings as Romo.
Time and time again, I'm confronted by people arguing that team wins make Troy Aikman a better quarterback than Tony Romo. But give Romo a Super Bowl ring and what changes? Some still argue more rings equal a better quarterback, but some turn a complete 180 and say Romo would be elite if he had a ring. Just one.
On @CowboysNation, Content Manager Mike H. has said it for more than two years now -- team accomplishments cannot be used to measure individual worth.
Tony Romo, any quarterback, is not a whole team. He doesn't play offense, defense, or special teams. He plays quarterback. His impact is equal to less than a 10th of the offense at any given time.
So how can we say he is any less of a player based on his team does?
Did the NFL turn into soccer while I slept?
He's not out there missing penalty kicks to end a game, he's snapping, throwing, and handing off the ball to his teammates. When opponents score against the Cowboys, does anyone blame Tony Romo for not covering the receiver better? Of course not.
That'd be ridiculous. The whole thing is really quite ridiculous.
And as far as this poll goes, I'm going out on a limb here and saying nearly half of those polled aren't even football fans. 46-percent of respondents said either Troy Aikman or Roger Staubach could take the field in 3 weeks -- in 2016 -- and outplay Tony Romo.
Though I wouldn't put it past Brett Favre to try playing the game into his 50s, I can't say he'd be any good at 45 years old, let alone 49 (Aikman) or 74 (Staubach).
On a more serious note.
I wanted to know how Tony Romo ranked, flat-out, in the NFL's default "Passing Leaders" stats, against other quarterbacks by year. So above is eight of the last nine years (skipping 2015 because he only played a few games), from 2014 back to 2007, listing the top five quarterbacks each year, and Tony Romo.
If Tony Romo was in the top five one year, then that year shows the top six ranked quarterbacks. Written beneath each year are the number of games Tony Romo played in that year, regardless of starts or injuries.
Drew Brees is the only quarterback in the NFL who appeared in the top six each year. It's fair to say that if you're looking for the most elite quarterback since 2007, Drew Brees is the guy.
Of the 17 quarterbacks who made an appearance, Peyton Manning has the second most appearances -- behind Brees -- with five, followed by Tom Brady with four, and a tie between Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, and Aaron Rodgers with three each. Oh, and Tony Romo also made three appearances.
Elite quarterbacks are not the quarterbacks with the most rings. They are the quarterbacks who consistently lead the league at their position.
Looking at the numbers, based purely on yards produced, we know who the elite quarterbacks are. Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, and Tony Romo. Yes, and Tony freaking Romo.
I'm as pissed as you Romo doesn't have any rings.
He's played some great football over the years but rarely had a defense able to keep the score down. How many times have we seen 80 and 90-point shoot-outs?
Is Tony Romo the most elite quarterback out there today? No. I was never saying he was either.
I don't know anyone saying he's the best in the game, but I know lots of folks defending themselves from the most asinine perspectives ever dreamed up, just because he wears a star on his helmet.
That's what we're talking about here. The star on the side of that man's helmet each week is a target, and snipers come out of the wood-works whenever he's around.
They're throwing half-truths and team statistics like win-loss records for bullets, but they're always there. And we have to hear their spit all damned day.
What a poll like this shows is Cowboys fans need to make up their minds. Either root for the team, be a fan, or go join the Broncos on Twitter, because we're seeing now just how delusional and self-serving their arguments can be. And over the smallest slight, too.
Anyway, we don't want fans who can't separate a winning (or losing) team from the individuals who make up that team. One is not the other.
Simply put, ladies and gentlemen, teams win Super Bowls, not quarterbacks. Tony Romo is not the exception.
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
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