Friday, January 21, 2011

When it Comes to Tony Romo, the Dallas Media Is an Overreacting Machine

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 09:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In Texas, football is king. Whether it's high school football, college football, or the Dallas Cowboys, football is where it's at.

So, as you might imagine, being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys comes with its fair and sometimes unfair share of criticism. When you're Tony Romo, you know that it comes with the territory. He knows that it's going to come from fans when the team loses and it's going to come from the media when it becomes a strong of losses.

If you watched this past season you saw Romo become more criticized than he probably ever has been since he became the starter. With exception to dropping the snap on what might have been the game winning field goal in a playoff game a few years ago.

Give him credit, he's handled it all with a lot more grace and patience than I could have ever handled it. The media knows how to get under people's skin, it's their job. They want the next big quote so they'll stick a microphone in his face, ask him all sorts of dumb questions, than wait to see if he'll explode on them. Sure it's happened before with other quarterbacks around the NFL (see: Ryan Leaf) but with Romo, that explosion has never really come.

But there has to come a time where the media has to realize they've overstepped their bounds and need to back up a step or two. Or three.

A few years ago, while Romo was in a high publicized relationship with Jessica Simpson, the two took a short vacation on an off day given to the players by then head coach, Wade Phillips.

That started a firestorm on the radio stations and through print media on how Romo should have stayed home and "studied the playbook" instead of going on vacation.

It was then that I realized just how scrutinized this young quarterback really was. I will admit that I've been critical of him as well but this went far beyond anything I've heard before.

What makes me laugh about that situation was fans expecting him to be held up in his home with his head in the playbook. They expected Romo to not take advantage of a day off given to him and the rest of his team by the head coach and approved by the owner. Neither of whom, by the way, came out and publicly chastised him.

His vacation hasn't been the biggest outcry coming from the fans as well as the local media. For those of you who are versed on everything Dallas Cowboys, you know one of his hobbies away from the football field is golf. He's not bad at it either. In fact, he's quite good.

If he wasn't a quarterback, Romo could take a real run at obtaining a PGA Tour card. But it's the one sports fans can't be more angry about their quarterback playing.

There's a certain radio station here in town that brought up his playing in a tournament to qualify for a PGA Tour event and it started a firestorm of response. Not only were the fans upset, though I take most of them with a grain of salt, but so were a few of the on air personalities.

I'm not going to bad mouth the station that started this "fire storm" because it's their job to get the fans to respond. It's their job to get callers to light up their phone lines and text board. While there's no telling them how to do their job, something I wouldn't do, I don't think it's right to tell an NFL quarterback how he can and can't spend his time off the field.

Golf isn't the only sport Tony Romo shouldn't play. Basketball has also made that list as well and is the only other topic that has gotten Romo blasted more than any other. Ok, maybe outside of Simpson jinxing their playoff game because she was in the building.

So with all that comes the reason why fans, and local media alike, are so critical of this team and it's quarterback. The Cowboys have just a single playoff victory in the last 16 seasons. They expect better and who's to blame them?

But the one thing I love about Romo, no matter how much I believe he's not the right guy to lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl, is the fact that he does what he wants when he wants with absolutely no regards to anyone else's opinion.

Bravo, Tony.

I get that players need to respond to their fans and I get that they should care about their expectations of them as well as the team. But when it comes to what they do outside of the football field, it's their decision and their decision alone.

Before you think this is an entire article taking sides with an NFL quarterback, you've got another thing coming. He's not the leader this team needs for the same reasons Jason Garrett isn't the right choice to be the newest head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

That being said, this town needs to stop acting like the sky is falling every time the team loses. Don't get me wrong it makes for great radio for me every Monday morning after a loss. But if the media is going to go after him hard and fast, don't be surprised if he could care less.
It's actually what I like most about Tony Romo.

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