Don't Trust Tony

Tony Romo is one of a kind. He truly is. Has there ever been a football player placed on a pedestal while achieving so little during his career as Romo has? There really hasn’t been anyone remotely close.

Tony Romo is a good NFL quarterback. Some would say he is great, others (citizens of Texas) would say that he is the best. But the image that has been created for Romo since he took over for an injured Drew Bledsode is that he is the leader of a juggernaut and the face of “America’s Team” (a now loosely used term, which has lost all meaning). Juggernauts don’t battle for wild card berths and given the recession that the country is currently facing, I guess for the time being Dallas can hold onto the title of “America’s Team.”

It seems as though every week the Cowboys are headlining the sports world with news of controversy and internal conflicts or disciplinary problems. And it seems as though every night on Sportscenter a segment of the show is dedicated to discussing the latest problems out of Dallas, usually focused around Terrell Owens.

This week’s Dallas Cowboys news came about when Tony Romo opted to throw errant passes intended for Jason Witten, rather than look for his star receiver T.O.

After leading his Cowboys to another devastating loss, an annual Romo tradition, KeyShawn Johnson of ESPN made the following observation.

“I don’t think Tony Romo has as much trust in Terrell Owens as in Jason Witten in those situations. If you don’t win the trust of the quarterback in a tough spot and tough situations, they’re going to go away from you.”

Now don’t get me wrong KeyShawn Johnson is as credible as the drunk at the town bar, but he was an NFL wide receiver (a highly overrated one) and was the Terrell Owens of the league before Terrell Owens was Terrell Owens, so he might have a point in his statement.

I’m not saying KeyShawn Johnson is right or wrong with what he said, but it is interesting. And if he is right, who is Tony Romo to no trust Terrell Owens? Shouldn’t Terrell Owens, who has played on winning football teams in all three cities he has been to, not trust the quarterback who has cost the Cowboys the past two seasons and now possibly a third?

Why would he not trust Terrell Owens? Does he not trust him as a man or as a person because there is certainly no reason to not trust T.O. as a wide receiver. I’m not gong to lie, I don’t like T.O. I don’t like his antics, I don’t like his selfishness, and I dont like the fact hat he puts himself above the team. But when it comes down to it, the man trails only Jerry Rice for receiving touchdowns in NFL history and has played on winning football teams the majority of his career. He is the most important piece of the Cowboys offense and without him there would be significant problems. I truly don’t like T.O. and maybe its because he has spent time as an Eagle and a Cowboy or maybe it was his participation in the Giants playoff collapse against the 49ers back in 2002, but I just don’t like him. But if he was catching 82-yard touchdown passes for the Giants I think I could learn to like him.

If anything T.O. and the rest of the Cowboys shouldn’t trust Romo, especially the Dallas defense who played their hearts out in Pittsburgh on Sunday. How are you going to trust a man responsible for ending your previous two seasons and most likely a third, thanks to an untimely, ill-advised pass in Pittsburgh that led to a pick six? Why is the media twisting the scenario to make Owens look to be the bad guy? I understand he is used to the negative spotlight, but it’s about time the Hall-of-Fame receiver was given the benefit of the doubt and the (fool’s) golden boy quarterback was seen as the goat.

Was it T.O. who fumbled the hold for the game-winning field goal in the ’06 playoffs? Was it T.O. vacationing in Cabo days before the divisional playoff against the Giants? Was it T.O. throwing an interception in the end zone to end that same playoff game against the Giants? Was it T.O. throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble against the Steelers in a must win game for the Cowboys? If  the answer to any of the above questions is “YES” then I apologize for writing this post.

The man responsible for all of those monumental blunders was the one and only Tony Romo, America’s most beloved athlete who has accomplished nothing in his two-plus seasons in the league.

Donovan McNabb has played in four NFC Championships and a Super Bowl and people hate him.

Brett Favre has won a Super Bowl, played in two, and has three MVP awards, and people are sick of him (including myself).

Kurt Warner had to play in the Arena Football League before being signed and he won two Super Bowls, a Super Bowl MVP, two league MVPs and has gotten maybe a tenth of the credit and praise he has deserved.

Jake Delhomme has played in a Super Bowl, two NFC Championships, and a Pro Bowl, and there are probably people reading this right now who don’t even know what team he plays for. It’s the Panthers if you’re wondering.

The list goes on, but the point is that there are plenty of quarterbacks in the league who have accomplished more, played in more meaningful games, and overcome greater odds than Tony Romo, yet they don’t even come close to measuring up to the hype and status that Tony Romo has been handed on a silver spoon. And for what? What has he done? Won some regular season games?

The other day I made the comparison between Romo and Alex Rodriguez who plays for my beloved Yankees, though I despise him. But even A-Rod has won a playoff series and has three MVP awards, a batting title, and the 500-home run mark on his resume. He might not lack the ring the same way Romo does, but at least most of A-Rod’s hype has been earned.

This Sunday night I expect an unbelievalble football game. Possibly the best game of the season. The Giants are fighting for the No. 1 seed and returning to a place they haven’t been to since their Super Bowl XLII tour. The Cowboys are fighting for their lives and members of the orgnaization are fighting for their jobs. A home loss to the Giants to end their season the exact same way two seasons in a row and twice in the same calendar year is not exactly what fans of the Big D had on their Christmas list.

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