There’s been some discussion in Philadelphia this week about Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo not getting enough credit for being one of the premier passers in the NFL. And actually, I agree with that premise. Romo has been putting up some gaudy numbers the last bunch of seasons.
The reason he tends to go overlooked though is his propensity for choke jobs late in games, especially when the Dallas’ season is on the line. Fair or not, quarterbacks are measured in part by winning, and Romo’s one career playoff win sort of says it all.
All of which is why it sounds so odd to people when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would praises Romo’s work in the fourth quarter. For as long as the guy has been in the league, that botched hold in Seattle has been following Romo around and growing in legend with every meltdown fumble and interception to cost his team the game.
That’s not what Jones remembers though. Here are his thoughts on the job Romo has done in the clutch, via the Dallas Morning News:
“I’m expecting to win it,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “I hadn’t booked it, but we had ‘em against Denver. And we’ve got a quarterback that’s the best in the business in the fourth quarter. He’s the best. He can make it happen when it’s not there. Other than being ahead with the ball, there’s no one I’d rather have at this time than to have Romo trying to get us down the field in a short period of time.”
As Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky points out, Jones is surprisingly backed up by statistics on this. Remarkably, no QB in NFL history has a better passer rating, while Romo is sixth among active quarterbacks in fourth-quarter comebacks, ninth in game-winning drives.
Heck, Romo authored nine game-winning drives over the previous two seasons combined. That’s all well and good, but also means nothing when the Cowboys are sitting at home watching the postseason every year.
Anecdotally, what always sticks out about Romo are the horrible mistakes in big games. He can throw for 500 yards with five touchdown passes as he did against Denver in Week 5, but all a lot of people are going to remember is the INT he tossed in the end to secure a Broncos victory.
But hey, keep on believing that jazz, Jerry Jones. Who knows, maybe this is Romo’s and the Cowboys’ year. If it is, they’ll have to go through Philadelphia on Sunday first.
>> Jerry Jones says Romo ‘best in the business’ in fourth [Deadspin]