Friday, March 29, 2013

Six More Years of Tony Romo

Congratulations Jerry Jones. You've locked up Tony Romo for six years and $108 million - $55 million guaranteed - and made him the richest player in franchise history. Just when I thought you were going to look to potentially draft the next QB of the future, you decide to keep a good but not great guy because.......well I'm still trying to figure it out.

Romo was going to be a free agent at the end of this season and I was all set to say if he didn't show improvement, it's time to go. At this point, he's a 32-year-old QB who is what he is. A guy who'll throw for 4,000 yards, 25-30 TD's and can't get out of his own way in big games. A guy responsible to the only Cowboys' playoff win since I was in junior high in 1997 but who's thrown my team out of many a games.

My reaction is simple. This is Jerry Jones at his best. Show loyalty until it forces his hand at the absolute moment. Wade Phillips stayed too long before he was fired. Jason Garrett is slowly getting to that point with his playcalling. Now Tony Romo will be a Cowboy until I'm in my mid 30's, assuming he doesn't get waived.

I'm supposed to be happy? I'm just numb. Numb after realizing the Tony Romo Dilemma will continue for one more year.

Here are facts. Romo is still one of the 16 best quarterbacks in the NFL. Last year, he threw half of his total interceptions in two terrible games. He had the highest passing yardage of his career (4,903) and he played well in the second half of the season.

Jerry Jones: "Hey, that sounds pretty good to me. Let's draw up the papers, shall we?" Me: "But there is a flip side to that."
Here are more facts. Romo is not a Top 10 quarterback. He hasn't made a Pro-Bowl since 2009 or an All-Pro team. He threw 3 interceptions in the season finale against Washington and two of them were rushed throws that were begging to be taken. He had the lowest passer rating of his career - a misleading stat but a crucial one in pointing out that he's not going to get much better.

His mental focus is weak and he tries to play like his idol, Brett Favre. Gunslingers are a dead breed - you need fearlessness to be a QB yes but you need smart fear. You need poise because a steady rhythm will lead to good things, not panic and overthrowing. He's not going to change as he gets older unless he realizes he has to grow.

Why on earth would this be rewarded with more money? Because the Cowboys have a terrible general manager that has tunnel vision. In December, I called for the team to clean house and right now, it looks like they're rearranging the future. Romo is what he is and there's no reason to put that much faith and security in him.

My hope as a fan is that DeMarco Murray can have a big year to take pressure off Romo and Dez "2000 yards" Bryant/Miles Austin/Jason Witten prove reliable enough to try and bail him out. I didn't have much faith in this season with the lack of quality free agent hires and now, I fear I have less optimism than before. Get your money, Tony - just try to have a great focus this season.

And thank you Jerry Jones. 19 years and counting as GM and you continue to find ways to let me down. Another questionable mark on your watch.

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