In case you hadn’t already heard, Tony Romo has quickly become one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Seven weeks ago he was just another uniform on the sideline holding a clipboard. At that point he had never attempted an NFL pass in his three and a half years with the Cowboys. Now Romo is getting credit for turning the Cowboys’ season around and he’s catching the attention of everyone in the process. Although I’ve never been a Cowboys fan, I have to say it’s hard not to like watching Romo play. The way he carries himself and makes tough passes look effortless resembles a 10-year veteran.
After replacing Drew Bledsoe in the Cowboys week-seven loss to the Giants, Romo has been on fire and it doesn’t look like there will be any rain clouds to cool him off too soon.
With a cannon for an arm and sniper-like accuracy, the 26-year-old has lifted the Cowboys to the top of the NFC East standings with a 5-1 record since he has taken the starting position.
The relaxed demeanor that has brought success on the field for Romo, his fun loving smile on and off the field, and the way he tries to avoid the spotlight, makes it difficult not to compare him to New England’s Tom Brady.
There are more similarities between the two, starting with the fact that they both became starters mid-season by replacing Bledsoe.
Romo signed with the Cowboys as an unknown and undrafted free agent who played his college ball at Division I-AA, Eastern Illinois. Brady put up decent numbers in college with Michigan but was also overlooked by many NFL scouts, not getting drafted until the sixth round, after 198 other players were selected in front of him. Brady sat his first season in the NFL, and was never thought to become more than a good backup option or below average starter.
Brady didn’t have the prettiest numbers in 2001 after replacing Bledsoe, but the thing that made him special was that he found a way to win. Brady threw 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions that season, which is nothing to brag about, but he found a way to win 11 of the 14 games that he started plus another three in the playoffs.
Romo’s most recent game on Sunday against the Giants was statistically his worst game of his brief career. He threw two interceptions and had no touchdowns, but the Cowboys still won. When it mattered the most Romo came up huge; throwing a 42-yard pass with under a minute left in a tied game. The reception set up a game winning field goal.
Romo proved that he too can win, even when he doesn’t put up stellar numbers.
The way that Romo trotted onto the field gave the impression that he knew Dallas would score before time expired. It was the same exact look that Brady has every time the Patriot’s need a score in the last drive of the game. Sure enough, Romo delivered.
Romo’s numbers are amongst the top of every category this season. His quarterback rating of 110.8 going into Sunday’s game was the highest in the league, and his .833 winning percentage is fourth best behind only Payton Manning, Philip Rivers and the Bears defense, oops, I mean Rex Grossman.
In Romo’s seven games he has thrown 13 touchdown passes. Five of those thirteen were thrown in Dallas’ Thanksgiving Day game against Tampa Bay, which tied a team record.
Cowboy fans are hoping that Romo can continue drawing comparisons to Brady, and if he does we may see him winning his first Super Bowl this season.
Whether they win or not, I’m sure that Romo will be giving it everything he’s got and he’ll be enjoying himself while doing it. Everyone watching him should be enjoying it too because he’s a special type of player that we don’t get to see too often.