Bickel’s Blog: Why Is Everyone Hating on Romo?

I hate losing to the Dallas Cowboys as much as the next guy. I went to bed pissed off Monday night knowing the Skins lost to their biggest rival in a close game and on a national stage. What made it even worse was anticipating guys like Lurch rubbing salt in the wound and having to deal with Cowboy fans calling in to the show in the morning. There is nothing worse than that as a Redskins fan.

The defense played very well for the most part, holding the Cowboys to just field goals. London Fletcher and Laron Landry were all over the field with big hits early in the game. And yet they still gave up a few critical big plays like the 3rd and 21 that Dallas converted to eventually go up 18-16 with less than two minutes to play.

Rex Grossman was typically all over the place. He made some nice passes and some inexplicable ones. His interception was downright high schoolish. That game was there on a silver platter for the Redskins and they gave it away. In many ways they lost that game every bit as much as Dallas won it.

But I’m not going to act like Tony Romo didn’t play a damn good game. I’m not going to pretend like he faked his broken rib and punctured lung from the week before. I’m not going to ignore that his leading receiver Miles Austin didn’t play. Or gloss over that Dez Bryant and Jason Witten both played hurt. What about the fact that every other receiver on the field seemed to have no idea where to line up let alone where to run their routes?

Lastly I’m not going to just brush over that Phil Costa the Cowboys starting center Monday night was randomly chucking balls at his quarterback in key moments. I’ve never seen a center repeatedly do that. And he did it at home! It wasn’t like it was on the road in a hostile environment with brutal crowd noise. The game was in Dallas!

Yet for some reason all I’m reading or hearing from snarky bloggers and bitter Skins fans is Tony Romo must not have been really hurt or he flat out didn’t play very well since he didn’t even throw a touchdown. What? He was 22 of 36 with guys that didn’t know where to line up. He was chasing after botched snaps and still making plays. He led the Cowboys to 3 scores in the last 20 minutes while the Redskins came up empty.

Some irrelevant second guessers are even quibbling with calling Romo gutsy after that performance. He’s not? He punctured his lung last week and still had a broken rib. That’s not gutsy? He took two painkilling injections for that game. That’s not tough?

Throw out the punctured lung which reportedly healed before the game anyway. He still played with a broken rib. Nobody is disputing that. It hurts to breathe, laugh or do much of anything with a broken rib let alone play football. He didn’t even practice all week and still completed 61% of his passes for 255 yds. He did all that with key guys at critical positions melting down on national TV. And you don’t want to call the guy gutsy? Some of you if your finger cramps couldn’t even tweet let alone throw for 255 yds.

This isn’t new for Romo. People have been hating on him for virtually his entire tenure in Dallas. Sure he’s won just one playoff game. But that’s not only on the quarterback. His teammates can pick up the slack too you know. In four playoff games he’s got 4 TDs 2 picks and completed 60% of his passes. Those aren’t spectacular numbers but they certainly aren’t awful.

The whole organization has been a disappointment for more than a decade but I wouldn’t pin it all on him. He’s played at an unbelievable level for most of his career. In fact he’s 42-26 as a starter. His quarterback rating of 95.5 for his career is actually astounding. Does anybody realize where that ranks amongst the all time greats? How about 5th place- just behind Tom Brady and ABOVE Peyton Manning and a guy named Joe Montana.

The anti Romo crowd is getting out of control. Roy Williams allegedly told people when he left Dallas that they actually should start Jon Kitna over Romo. What? Look Tony Romo isn’t perfect. He’s lost his share of games down the stretch and in critical moments fumbled snaps and turned the ball over. But he’s without question tough, gutsy and a damn good quarterback. The numbers and the performances like the one Monday night speak for themselves.

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