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

Pablo Sandoval 'cut things off at the root' with Giants

Scott Boras taking shots at Cubs' history over Kris Bryant

Kingdome debt finally paid off 15 years after demolition

49ers waive Jonathan Martin

Former MLBer Curt Ford assaulted, told to ‘go back to Ferguson’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Russell Westbrook was very ‘confused’ by media after loss

NCAA 'concerned' over Indiana's 'religious freedom' bill

Report: James frustrated with Love’s inability to fit in

Shane Victorino rips radio hosts for twisting Hamels trade talk

Jerry Jones on Greg Hardy: He's paid a 'terrific price'

Senators to fans: Stop throwing hamburgers on the ice

Toronto Raptors limping into the playoffs

Best picks ever at every spot in first round of NFL Draft

Alonzo Mourning confirms “Who wants to sex Mutombo?”

CC Sabathia attempting to get healthier by getting … fatter?

You can bid on Andrew McCutchen’s recently cut locks

Is Chuck Pagano receiving the Jim Harbaugh treatment?

Wideouts wearing out their welcome

Dean Smith willed $200 to each of his former players

10 best coaches who have never been to the Final Four

Five under-the-radar American League MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit Naseir Upshur’s girlfriend a letter

Five MLB teams that could disappoint in 2015

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

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

MLB teams that could disappoint

25 years ago, the best Sweet 16 of all time was pure madness

The 2015 bad quarterback carousel

17 facts to know before the Sweet 16

Agent: Sam was horrible at veteran combine

Keeping judo ‘pure’ in Europe means keeping MMA out

The Sweet 16 should be seen as success

On the Browns, Hard Knocks, questions and narratives

Sweet 16 West Region preview

Sweet 16 Midwest Region preview

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.