One day later, I still find it interesting that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, coming off the best season of his career, was passed over as an NFC Pro Bowl replacement for Super Bowl participant Eli Manning by rookie quarterback Cam Newton.
Newton had a great rookie season, no doubt. He was the first rookie to throw for more than 4,000 yards, 4,051 to be exact. He set the single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 14. He also threw 21 touchdown passes with 17 interceptions.
Newton did not have a better year than Romo who passed for 4,184 yards. He was also was more efficient and had fewer miscues.
Romo had a career-best touchdown interception ratio of 31-10 to go along with a career-best passer rating of 102.1, which ranked fourth-best in the league among all quarterbacks. Only Aaron Rogers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady had a better rating.
Only Brees and Rodgers had a better completion percentage than Romo’s 66.3. Newton 60 percent of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 84.5.
Romo did all this in a season in which he also showed toughness and courage as he played one game with a fractured rib and punctured lung, leading the Cowboys to a comeback victory against the 49ers. He actually played several games with the fractured rib, taking pain-killing shots.
Now you are telling me Romo, a three-time Pro Bowl participant, didn’t have a season worthy of going to Hawaii as a replacement for Manning?
No, this is simply a case of “the chickens coming home to roost.”
Remember in 2006 when Romo burst on the scene and was all the rage? Fans couldn’t get enough of the spunky, upstart quarterback, an undrafted free agent who took over for the aging Drew Bledsoe.
The Cowboys rode a wave of “Romo momentum” to the playoffs in what would be the final genius act in what was Bill Parcells’ final season as coach.
Romo Mania swept the Fort Worth-Dallas metroplex as well as the nation. A legion of Romo-sexuals and Romo-sapiens were born.
His soaring popularity was why he made the Pro Bowl despite starting only 10 games, including only eight when the voting was conducted.
The decision then was spurred by hype, not by performance. The case is the same this year.
Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn and the No. 1 pick, is all the rage.
Heck, if it was solely about performance then Detroit’s Matt Stafford would have gotten the nod after passing for 5,038 yards with 41 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
But Stafford, the third alternate behind Newton and Romo, trails significantly in Q rating.
Nope, this is about buzz.
Romo’s star has simply faded.
Fans and the media are disillusioned with him, if not disenchanted, because of unfulfilled expectations.
He’s no longer the cute, heartwarming hero who came from nowhere to quarterback America’s Team.
He no longer gets the benefit of the doubt.
Romo just gets all the blame for the Cowboys failures.
It’s not fair.
But often times what will make you laugh will make you cry.
-- Clarence E. Hill Jr.