Originally written on rattleandhumsports.com  |  Last updated 12/26/12
Talk of Tony Romo Legacy Adds Intrigue to Dallas Cowboys’ Regular Season Finale DALLAS COWBOYS NO COMMENTS EDIT

By Matthew Postins

This was the rare NFL year in which NFL teams didn’t have to re-jigger their schedules due to the holiday. Christmas Day fell on a Tuesday, which is the NFL’s mandated off day. Chances are players and coaches for the Dallas Cowboys spent the day with their families.

Hopefully Tony Romo didn’t turn on ESPN while he and his wife were opening gifts Tuesday morning.

When talk moved to the NFL the talk turned to the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins game on Sunday night, the one winner-take-all contest on the schedule. The talk centered around Romo’s legacy.

The consensus? Romo had to win on Sunday to change the perception that he isn’t a big-game quarterback.

I suppose there’s an element of truth to that statement. One must admit that Romo’s record in these types of games is checkered, at best. While we laud Romo’s passing statistics in November and December – and they’re quite good – his overall record as a starting quarterback in Week 17 is 1-4.

Two of those Week 17 contests mattered. In 2008 the Cowboys needed to beat the Philadelphia Eagles to make the playoffs. Last year the Cowboys needed to beat the New York Giants to win the NFC East and make the playoffs.

The Cowboys cratered both times. Last year against the Giants they lost, 31-14. Thing is, Romo had a solid night, completing 78 percent of his passes, throwing for nearly 300 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with an interception.

The loss to Philly in 2008 was far worse. The Cowboys lost, 44-6, with Romo completing barely 50 percent of his passes, throwing for less than 200 yards and throwing one interception. You might remember that as the game where Romo told the media that “if that loss was the worst thing that happened to him then he’s led a pretty good life” or something to that effect.

So perhaps that represents progress?

Romo is in the midst of what could be considered the best stretch of his career. In his last seven games Romo has thrown for 2,291 yards, 16 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. During that stretch the Cowboys are 5-2.

Of course, Romo was rolling last year too. In his final eight games he threw for nearly 2,000 yards, 18 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The Cowboys lost four of their final five games to miss the playoffs.

This year the Cowboys have won five of their last seven.

So perhaps that represents progress?

Romo’s legacy as a quarterback will not culminate on Sunday night. It makes for nice talk and when you have a 24-hour sports news station, you need something to talk about.

But the thing that national pundits miss is that winning or losing in Week 17 – which admittedly the Cowboys have been horrible at the last dozen years – isn’t the legacy the locals care about.

What the locals care about is what happens in January.

Roger Staubach is 11-6 and has two Super Bowl rings.

Troy Aikman is 11-4 and has three Super Bowl rings.

Danny White is 5-5 and took the Cowboys to three straight NFC title games.

Romo and Don Meredith have the same playoff record – 1-3. The difference is Meredith took the Cowboys to two straight NFL championship games against the Green Bay Packers. Romo hasn’t even been out of the divisional round.

So talk about Romo’s legacy all you want this week. It hardly matters, at least around here. If the Cowboys do beat the Redskins on Sunday, the needle will simply move. The chatter will go from “can Romo get the Cowboys to the playoffs” to “can Romo win a playoff game?” That’s how it is around here and that’s how it is in the NFL.

Until Romo puts together a run that takes these Cowboys to uncharted territory in the post-Jimmy Johnson era, that question will always exist.

One last thing about legacies. They shouldn’t be written until an athlete’s career is complete. For much of his career John Elway was perceived as a great quarterback who couldn’t win on the NFL’s ultimate state. Then he ended his career with two straight Super Bowl wins and that perception changed.

This isn’t to say that Romo is Elway. It’s just to say that judging Romo’s legacy when he has several productive years ahead of him isn’t smart.

Of course, just two months ago we were talking about how next year might Romo’s last year in Dallas. Now we’re talking about his legacy.

So perhaps that represents progress?

Related articles
  • The Dallas Cowboys lose a heartbreaker to the New Orleans Saints

 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Three teams achieve separation in Aldridge chase

WATCH: Serena Williams wags finger at Wimbledon crowd, says, 'Don’t try me'

Report: Rajon Rondo headed to Sacramento Kings

Dez Bryant deal with Cowboys could be announced Monday

Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mavs solidify future, sign Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan

A-Rod, Yankees settle dispute over home run milestone bonus

Report: Robin Lopez, Knicks finalizing four-year deal

Becky Hammon will coach Spurs' Summer League team

Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: ‘I don’t think we have any issues’

Yankees get A-Rod's 3,000th hit ball for $150,000 donation

The top American sports moments since the last Fourth of July

Nine former college football rivalries that need to come back

The most patriotic uniforms in American sports

Jeanie Buss: Brother Jim will step down if Lakers don't make deep run within two seasons

DeAndre Jordan to Dallas: The Los Angeles Clippers are literally mad men

Remember when the Cincinnati Bearcats were the scariest team in America?

Are the Angels now the worst organization in baseball?

Five reasons the Browns should play Johnny Manziel

Blue Jays need rookies to keep producing for success in 2015

WATCH: Sean Doolittle gets cup check from teammate

University of Florida developing high-tech smart mouth guard

Pat McAfee is the best punter in NFL history

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.