Does Tony Romo Have What It Takes to be an Elite Quarterback?

Last month, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo inked a seven-year extension valued at $119.5 million. This came with a $25 million signing bonus and $55 million in guaranteed money.

For Romo, 33, he is now the highest paid Cowboy in the team’s history. Many questioned the payday and thought it was a bit extravagant given Romo’s lack of postseason play. Among his current quarterback peers who demand equally high salaries and bonuses (Flacco, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning), some would say he’s not on their level.

Translation: He’s never won a Super Bowl.

So one question is, does Romo have what it takes to be an elite quarterback?

One renowned elite quarterback, Brett Favre, recently called him a “very good quarterback” and said not to discount his success from his lack of postseason wins. Remember, football is a team sport.

Favre added on Friday via the Dallas Morning News, “I think it’s misleading to say that a quarterback has wins and losses and say he was a part of one playoff victory. I think there are a lot of factors that go into the success of not only Tony Romo but any player. Just what little bit I’ve watched the last couple of years, it seems like they were a little bit in disarray offensively. I thought he did a good job, from what I saw, of managing and making plays. Does that get you in trouble sometimes when you try to do too much? Sure it does. But I think I’d rather have a guy who’s willing to take those chances.”

Keep in mind this comes from a quarterback who played 16 seasons with the Green Bay Packers and led them to two Super Bowl appearances (1996 Super Bowl win). Favre still sits at the top of league for touchdown passes (508) and interceptions (336).

But Romo is not without his own accolades and as they say, stats don’t lie.

In 2006 after three years as a backup, he took over the starting reins for the Cowboys and now he’s the team’s all-time leader with 174 touchdown passes; he holds the team’s single-season passing yards and touchdown record.

Again, when looking at postseason success, he’s no Roger Staubach or Troy Aikman.

Maybe another question is how do you define elite? Maybe Romo’s elite for Cowboys standards.

No, Romo does not have a Super Bowl appearance. The team hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since the 1995 season and the clock is ticking for them.

Yes, Romo does he have the support of his team. Do you think Cowboys manager/general manager Jerry Jones would have paid him all that money if he didn’t believe in him?

Yes, he is clutch. When looking at regular-season play, he has 18 career fourth-quarter comebacks with 19 game-winning drives. In 2012, he had five, according to ESPN. He led his team from a 3-5 record last season to winning five of six games to return as contenders for the division.

But he is likely remembered from Week 17 against the Washington Redskins.

At 33, he was the fifth-oldest starting quarterback in the league in 2012.

Maybe a better question is, has Romo peaked as a player?


Debbie Baratz

Deb has been writing about the NFL and NCAA football for the last few years. She is a full-time writer and an avid sports fan. Follow her on twitter @ldbar.

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