Friday, July 10, 2009

Jacobs: Romo Isn't That Good

In a fun interview on ESPN 1050 New York Brandon Tierney gave Brandon Jacobs the right rope.

Tony Romo? Are you a Tony Romo guy? Do you think he's good?

No I’m not a Tony Romo guy, I think he’s alright. His luck will be gone sooner or later.

It’s something he can’t sustain. I think … if you were to keep Tony Romo in the pocket he’s not that effective. That’s what I think. But you let him run around and you have the linebackers and everyone think ‘is he gonna run? Is he gonna pass? Then I think he’s effective, because he is athletic and he can run. And he can beat you there. But if you keep him in the pocket I don’t think he can get you from the pocket. I don’t think he’s that great a passer, to be honest with you.
Okay, so this is really a great quote. But it there may be a lot of underlying truth to it. Romo's records in games against good defenses is pretty sketchy, particularly when the season is on the line. Looking at the last four games of '08 with Dallas on the playoff bubble, the team went 1-3 while Romo went a combined 84/150/889/5/6 for a composite 68 passer rating. This doesn't really describe the whole story though, in the one win against the Giants Romo was brilliant, posting a 114 rating despite four sacks. If anything though, this performance makes the other three even more incriminating. Needing one win, Romo posted a composite 56 rating in the three losses, as a point of comparison, Detroit's five quarterbacks had a 71 rating in their sixteen losses. 56 is just bad, bad, bad.

A couple of years ago the pundits argued that Romo would learn from his playoff gaffe/loss against the Seahawks. Maybe he did, but since that time he became embroiled in a very public and distracting affair with Jessica Simpson while laying another egg in the playoffs against the Giants, blowing Dallas' top seed. In two of his last three games that year he posted ratings of 22 and 35, even while Dallas was tuning up for their playoff run.

Romo clearly can play a bit. He obviously has skill, can make things happen, can generate excitement. But at this point in his career it is absolutely legitimate to question whether the guy can ever be a winner. He isn't like Peyton Manning who would carry his team to the playoffs annually only to lose somewhere along the way. This Dallas team is loaded and really has no excuses not to be the best team in the conference.

1 comment:

  1. I read something last year, one of the regular NFL columnists (was it Peter King?), who posted a little paragraph of an unnamed NFL exec talking about Romo. The exec said that when Romo was coming out of college, he felt that Romo was not a player you could build a champion with: that he was a lock to make one boneheaded, losing play per game. That's interesting, in the context of Romo's last couple years.

    It's also worth nothing that Jerry has upped the knucklehead quotient on that team since Parcells left. The team might be loaded with talent, but its potential for self-destruction has been pretty high too (esp last season with TO).

    I gotta say, there is something very rewarding about seeing the Cowboys fall flat. It's heart warming. The only other team I love seeing lose more, is the Redskins. God I love it when the Redskins fail.

    I don't think I root against anyone else. Lots of Ravens fans really hate the divisional opponents, especially Pittsburgh. I don't feel the same way: I don't need to see them lose in games against other opponents (unless there's some scenario where a division opponent needs to lose x games at the end of the season to keep the Ravens alive). I feel some slight bragging rights as a fan, when the division is good.

    But the Redskins and Cowboys: man, I could watch them lose every week.


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