I’ve invented a new weekly poll.
It is called “Best pro quarterback in the state of Texas.”
Obviously, the poll has limited names. I count only three professional quarterbacks in Texas.
My first poll has this ranking:
No. 3, Matt Schaub, Texans.
No. 2, Tony Romo, Cowboys.
And No. 1, by far:
Johnny Football, Texas A&M.
Money-wise, this poll also has a bang-for-your-buck category.
Romo has his new $108 million contract, courtesy of Mr. Jerry. Tony hasn’t earned his keep yet, but for 58 minutes last week, he was at least a million-dollar-a-minute quarterback.
A million dollars a minute is about the going rate for one of Johnny Football’s autograph sessions.
Johnny entertains me. Greatly. On the field and off.
With Schaub, it’s scary how he’s fallen off the face of the quarterbacking earth. He’s now a pick-6 waiting to happen.
With Romo, nothing ever changes. Yes, he remains the most polarizing quarterback in football. And that’s because he’s the most confusing quarterback in football.
This has been a week when the debate on Romo has never been more extreme, and that’s saying something. The debate is always extreme.
But that Denver performance has had something extreme for all of us:
The Romo Haters.
And the confused.
How do you knock the most prolific air display in Dallas Cowboys history, with 48 points also being involved?
It’s easy to knock, answer many. Tony choked in the clutch again. That’s what Tony does. He chokes in the clutch.
Initially, I fell into the category of “throws a pick in the clutch. Again.”
But by Monday, I decided such a narrow viewpoint put me in the Romo Hater column.
So now I call myself a “truther.”
Man, Romo was a great quarterback against the Broncos.
But he did throw the pick at the worst possible time. Again.
I object to being labeled a fence-rider on this issue.
I’m a truther.
And overall, this has actually been a good week for Romo in the area of public perception, not that any of the CowSheep fandom had a change of mind based on the Denver game. Again, the Romosexuals had their ample talking points and the Romo Haters had the pick to yelp about.
But let’s assume Tony is not keeping score when it comes to the ongoing pro-con debate about himself among NFL media, players and coaches. So I kept score for him.
Despite the killer interception, by my estimation, the Romo praise far outdistances the knockers among NFL people. It’s about 80-20, positive. This, friends, is very unusual, at least by normal Romo standards.
It was also interesting this week that Ryan Kerrigan, the Redskins’ linebacker, had this praise for Tony:
“He gets such an unjust, bad rap. The dude’s a hell of a football player. He’s really good.”
With Washington at the Big Yard on Sunday night, you’d be foolish to dismiss that praise as some buttering-up BS of an upcoming rival.
It never works that way with Romo. Basically all opponents relish calling out Romo before they play against him.
Tony is the most confusing Cowboys quarterback since …
Well, the other day when I compared Romo’s star-crossed local career to that of Don Meredith, it was surprising how many old-timers thought I was insulting Dandy Don, my hero from youth.
But here was Tony, outplaying Mr. Peyton for 58 minutes in a shootout war, and then, there was Tony throwing in the direction of a rookie tight end who was triple-covered.
From almost a perfect performance to that. It doesn’t compute.
Tony’s tackle, Tyron Smith, stepped on Romo’s foot just before the throw, another thing that went very wrong on the play.
But it was Monday morning, watching multiple replays of the pick, before I spotted DeMarco Murray standing wide open in the middle of the field on the pass.
DeMarco would have been the perfect dump-off target, resulting in maybe 8 yards, and bringing up a manageable third-and-8.
Why doesn’t Tony see that, instead of seeing a rookie tight end in triple-zone coverage?
If we had the answer to that, then the Romo confusion would clear up immediately.
But all we’ve got now is 58 minutes of near perfection, then the game-changing pick.
I’m just being my new self. A Romo truther.
At least Tony is not Matt Schaub this week. But I’m still waiting for him to be Johnny Football.