What this world needs is another opinion on Tony Romo. I'm certain of it.
Please bear with me and resist the urge to eye-roll. Throwing my hat in the contributors ring around here should call for an initiation of sorts, complete with a formal declaration, as in Name, Rank, Serial Number, and Stated Position on Tony Romo. I know and accept that what I say here will be held against me forever more, and might even prompt an audit.
The name's Erod, scrub captain, BR549, and Lord help me, I love the knucklehead at QB. Can't help it, and the intervention and therapy you prescribe won't work, so stuff it.
So let's get to it without trudging the tired and beaten paths more than minimally necessary. Romo is synonymous with politics, religion, chickens, eggs, and Gordon/Earnhardt. Hadn't been an original thought on this subject since TO had money and LeBron was a Cavalier. I mean, the first time he was a Cavalier.
Simply put, never has a player this good been this summarily and unfairly dismissed in the NFL, ever. If you can name another, please share.
Before I make my case for Romo, know this about me. I detest statistical arguments. Despise them to their core. Why? Because they're too often used definitively to cloud the truth. Too many think stats win arguments, when they do exactly the opposite. We have an inherent skill to create them from thin air, and ambiguously skew them as our agenda requires. Reality is, you can't quantify players in team sports with just mathematics. It ain't golf.
Football is more art than science, so to truly know and understand a player, it takes time and thought and prolonged observation, something not everyone can or will devote to a single player. I can't say from here that I fully understand or appreciate Matt Ryan or Jay Cutler or Phillip Rivers either. I don't drench myself in the day-to-day with those teams to have more than a fan's impression from afar. However, I still take care not to lean on stats for any of them, and base my impressions from my mind's eye, with room to change my mind.
Jeff George had kickass stats. So did Ernest Givens and Herman Moore. Troy Aikman and Drew Pearson and Lynn Swann didn't. Peyton Manning has them; Russell Wilson doesn't. Numbers reflect circumstance, style, and approach. Imagine if Emmitt had been drafted by Kansas City, or Jerry Rice was catching passes from Steve Pelluer.
Hey, let's be honest, Romo has great stats. A bajillion yards passing and enough TD passes to make Roger and Troy blush. "Greatest QB rating in the 4th quarter of all time" is the coolest one to say out loud. Whatever, I don't care about Romo's numbers because his case doesn't depend on them. All I've had to do is open my eyes and my mind, watch the games, and ask myself....
Where would this team have been the past five years without him?
Pardon the shudder, that's scary to ponder. Romo has danced the Charleston on a high-wire act throughout this ongoing circus since Tuna left town, suffering through Wade, and now waiting on the rebuilding hopes of Garrett, McClay, and now Linehan. I so wish Parcells was 10 years younger and could have raised him properly in this Beatles-band spotlight of Dallas.
Way back when, Romo inherited a pretty salty team, but he was an NFL quarterback in training at the time, relying on Jedi mind tricks and a boyish grin to get him from one huddle to the next. As the newness wore off and his game sharpened, that same roster began to age and falter almost overnight. His arrow pointed opposite the team's, without enough fruitful draft picks and cap room to catch the fall.
The offensive line became tattered and torn, and the defense regressed into historic incompetence. There were still shiny, skilled objects to distract the masses, which allowed Romo to amaze us all with sleight-of-hand and Houdini acts along the way. Because of him, this 4-12 roster got more attention than it deserved.
Garrett knows this. So do coaches and quarterbacks past and present, who often seem to be the only public voices to support Romo. Even the likes of Jaworski and Simms and well-intentioned RG3 have made a distinct point to say to him and us, "You're a damn fine quarterback, don't listen to what everybody says about you."
What grits my teeth is that so many Cowboys fans don't get this. They go full goose-step and adopt the opinions of ne'er-do-wells hundreds of miles away, instead of trusting their eyes and their instinct. It's easier and less exhausting to just chime in with the thoughtless hordes.
No, I haven't forgotten the bobbled snap. (How many starting QBs hold on field goals?) I watched the failure of 13-3 end against the Giants. (If Crayton doesn't drop the ball.) I saw the 2011 finale in New York. (Romo played with a sprained throwing hand), the 2012 pick against Washington, (the defense gave up nearly 300 yards rushing before Romo's awful pass), and Orton against the Eagles (if Romo played that day, they win easily).
And yes, I've seen the late-game interceptions that transfix the zombies. Games, mind you, that Dallas had no business being competitive in without Romo. Brady and Manning throw late interceptions, too, but their defenses put out the fire, so nobody remembers. Other quarterbacks do - or don't - throw picks late, but they're down three touchdowns, so nobody cares. I share your frustration with Romo at times, understand, but balanced in context.
Just how perfect does he have to be for this team to win?
Forgotten too often are the numerous games, more than most any QB, that Romo has taken the Cowboys down the field to win a game late, too. Most of those included flaccid rushing efforts and a Cowboy defense giving up yards and points in droves. So many losses that should have been, but weren't, thanks to No. 9. So many drubbings made competitive.
Perhaps the pinnacle of my pissed-off-edness came last year against Denver. We ALL saw Romo outplay Peyton, stem to stern, on every level, before stepping on his lineman's foot and throwing a plucked duck that led to a OT field goal. Romo was brilliant beyond brilliant, but couldn't overcome his French-ified defense that day, and he finally made a mistake. Nanoseconds after the game, the simpletons and dolts spilled from every crevice and hung Romo in effigy. It explains so much about so many things, I suppose, especially beyond football.
I contend that if Romo was the QB in Seattle, he'd be going for his third straight championship this season. Same for San Fran. He's markedly better than both Wilson and Kaepernick, though his circumstances aren't. Jerry's past failings ladle over this team and haunt Romo's legacy.
If there's football justice - and there often isn't - good health will allow Romo a real shot or two with a worthy roster. It's getting better, but it might oughta hurry it up. Bad backs are onerous injuries.
When Romo is no mo', it'll finally sink in among us all. I hope it doesn't come to that, but I know this. We're going to miss him when he's gone.
Cowboys en Español: La Afortunada Llegada de Randall Cobb
Tras la partida del veterano Cole Beasley, los Dallas Cowboys tenían un hueco preocupante en la posición de receptor abierto. Incluso después de obtener a Amari Cooper la temporada pasada y el tener a un jugador joven y talentoso en Michael Gallup, el equipo tenía que hacer algo para reemplazar a Beasley como el receptor de slot en la ofensiva. Beasley fue increíble en su trabajo durante su carrera en Dallas, pero la administración nunca estuvo cerca de igualar las ofertas que recibió de los Buffalo Bills. Afortunadamente, ya encontraron el hombre para el trabajo.
A pesar de estar muy callados en la primera semana de agencia libre, los Cowboys empiezan a verse involucrados con varios jugadores disponibles. Su contratación más importante hasta el momento es sin duda la del ex WR de los Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb.
Hace unos años, Cobb atrapó el balón que terminó el partido de playoffs entre los Packers y los Cowboys minutos después de que la recepción de Dez Bryant fuera revocada. En 2019, vestirá la estrella.
Si bien es difícil argumentar que en este momento Cobb es mejor jugador que Cole Beasley, el contrato que la administración le dio al nuevo integrante del equipo es muy razonable. El ex-Packer jugará bajo un contrato por un año y cinco millones de dólares. Lo que preocupa a muchos sobre Cobb es su salud, ya que en 2018 sólo jugó nueve partidos. Sin embargo, su carrera no ha estado plagada de lesiones como muchos lo asumen.
Cobb será un titular en esta ofensiva que utilizará su habilidad para ganar en rutas rápidas. Sus manos son muy confiables y le dará a Dak Prescott otra arma en el juego aéreo. Simple y sencillamente una muy buena contratación de los Dallas Cowboys.
¿Robert Quinn, Por Favor?
Esta semana se reportó que el defensive end Robert Quinn estaba de visita en The Star, las instalaciones de los Dallas Cowboys. El DE no es un agente libre, siendo que aún está bajo contrato con los Miami Dolphins. Sin embargo, ambos equipos están en discusiones para llevar a cabo un trade por el caza cabezas de 28 años.
Después de que Randy Gregory volviera a recibir una suspensión, DE apareció entra las necesidades más urgentes del equipo y si no logran atender dicha necesidad previo al NFL Draft, tendrán que utilizar uno de sus primeros picks para conseguir un jugador que juegue opuesto a DeMarcus Lawrence.
Quinn, quien había jugado la mayoría de su carrera con los Rams, aún es joven y productivo. En las últimas dos temporadas ha logrado conseguir 15 sacks. De conseguirlo, los Cowboys tendrían que trabajar en una extensión para él.
Con un año en su contrato actual, no debe de ser muy caro conseguir un trade por él. Me atrevería a decir que la compensación que los Dolphins buscan por Quinn debe de estar en el rango de una selección cuarta y quinta ronda.
Parece un movimiento probable, pero no es difícil imaginar a otro equipo estando interesado en el jugador. Por lo pronto, sabemos que Quinn disfrutó su tiempo con Rod Marinelli y con el equipo de los Cowboys esta semana. Habrá que esperar para saber su destino.
DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line
The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.
The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.
After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.
So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.
What exactly is that role, though?
I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.
Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.
Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.
If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.
This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.
New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF
On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.
Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.
In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.
This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb
Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.
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