Found June 27, 2013 on Football and Futbol:
PLAYERS: Tony Romo
TEAMS: Dallas Cowboys
As the Dallas Cowboys gear up for the 2013 season, quarterback Tony Romo has more pressure than ever to push his team deep into the playoffs. Sound familiar? Every year that the polarizing quarterback has been taking snaps, national media coverage has all but labeled them “Superbowl or bust.” Whether or not that’s fair is irrelevant, and whether Cowboys fans like it or not, their team will consistently be the center of attention no matter what they do good or bad. Only this year is a bit different for #9. This off-season, Romo was handed a 6 year contract extension worth $108 million dollars and $55 million guaranteed, which caused a wide-spread back-lash from fans and even some players. People can say he doesn’t deserve it, I can tell you it’s just the way free agency works, but when it comes right down to it, the most clear-cut answer of this contract is that Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys believe in Tony Romo.Romo has missed off-season activities since receiving surgery for his back cyst, leaving Kyle Orton and un-drafted free agent Dalton Williams out of Akron throwing the football around at practice. Williams has good size and is a developmental quarterback, but there’s a lot of competition at the safety, wide-receiver and tight-end position which will leave Williams at best on the practice squad. A lot of Cowboys fans were beating their chest upon signing Kyle Orton just a year ago. Praises of “we have the best back-up quarterback in the league!” But now some time has passed, and it’s kind of been a while since Kyle Orton has gotten significant playing time. He’s played 10 games in the last 3 years, and reports from camp have suggested that he’s lost some zip on the ball. We’ve seen far too often with Brad Johnson or Stephen McGee or John Kitna that this offense falls apart when Romo is not on the field, and the Cowboys had better hope they see better play from Orton at training camp. So what can we expect of Tony Romo? Can we expect him to throw for 4,000+ yards? Yes. Can we expect him to have one, maybe two 3 INT games? Most likely. Can we expect him to lead 4th quarter come-backs with thrilling/unconventional plays? Absolutely. But its the same story we’re all used to by now. Romo has consistently put numbers in the same ballpark(notice I said ballpark, not in-field) as your “elite” quarterbacks in this league, but the main difference that separates him from being considered “elite” is arguably the most important statistic of all: playoff wins. Now that’s not entirely Romo’s fault. His team has lacked a running game, they’ve lacked discipline and health from the wide-receiver position, lacked even halfway decent play from the offensive line and barring 2009, they’ve had a mediocre defense. But none of those excuses should give Tony Romo a pass for the way he’s played in the most critical games of the seasons. Yes, he may be able to over-come certain obstacles during the regular season, but it’s the regular season finales, the games that would get his team into the playoffs, where he has struggled far too much. Here are his stats in regular season finales over the last 5 years: 2008: Cowboys 6 Eagles 44 Romo: 183 yards 1 int 2009: Cowboys 24 Eagles 0 Romo:310yds 2TDs 1int 2011: Cowboys 14 Giants 31 Romo: 289yds 2TDs 1int 2012: Cowboys 18 Redskins 28 Romo: 218 yards 3 ints 2 Tds Forget what all their regular season head-to-head records are, as far as I’m concerned, the record stands: Romo-1 NFC East Rivals-3. To me, the fact that Tony Romo has lost to all 3 of his divisional opponents in regular season finales may be the most brutal stat of his career. We’ve seen the Eagles fall and the Redskins rise in this time yet they were never able to take advantage of their window.So sit back and enjoy the ride. No matter what happens throughout the course of the season, it will most likely all come down to, as it always does, the final week of the season where the Cowboys host the Philadelphia Eagles.  

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