NFL analyst Steve Young says Tony Romo is as good as any quarterback when it comes to the highest level of quarterback play, but that he struggles with another important part of the job – game management.
Young, speaking on a conference call last week to promote ESPN’s coverage of the NFL’s conference championship games, was talking about Alex Smith’s reputation in previous seasons as a “game manager.”
“The problem I have with the idea of game manager, it's definitely code for: ‘He can't play championship football.’ It's like calling someone a scrambler. That's code for: ‘He isn't a real quarterback,’ Young said. “The truth is, scrambling is a side light to it. It doesn't really have to define you. And game manager, that's 60 or 70 percent of the job. To my mind, Tony Romo, the 30 percent that's the extra-highest level, point-of-the-spear championship play that Drew and Tom and all those guys do, Tony does really well. But he struggles with more of the commodity, the game manager stuff.”
Romo is coming off what his coach, Jason Garrett, called his best season yet, with a career-best 102.5 passer rating, 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Romo's critics won't let him forget the second-half turnovers he had against the Jets and the Lions that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
But ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer doesn’t blame Romo. He blames the team around him.
“Tony has greatness in him,” he said. “I think when you talk to other people that really play the quarterback position, and I see it as well, there's a few guys that really have incredible greatness in them, and Tony is one of them. I think the issue here is he needs more help from his teammates. I think they are not nearly as talented as people say they are, from 1 to 53. I'm talking about the total roster. I don't think there's as much order and structure in the organization as the Giants have and the teams that have the elite quarterbacks have. I think the only thing that's keeping Tony from ascending into the upper echelon of quarterbacks is his team, is the help from his friends and his teammates, and I think once that all comes together, you're going to see the fullness of Tony's greatness come out."
-- Carlos Mendez