13 years after he got an NFL opportunity with the Dallas Cowboys, quarterback Tony Romo’s time in Big D is all but over. The Cowboys have a new franchise quarterback in 23-year-old Dak Prescott and the time has come for the team to move on from Romo and begin a new era of Dallas Cowboys football.
When Romo’s career in the league eventually comes to an end, whether it be in another year or in a few more, how his legacy as an NFL quarterback be looked back upon?
Some people (mostly Cowboys fans) think that he is deserving enough to one day be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, his actual success in the league is likely going to prevent him from earning an ugly bronze bust of his head in Canton, Ohio.
In his first 55 starts for Dallas from 2006 to 2009, Romo helped the Cowboys win 69 percent of those games (Rob Gronkowski probably enjoys this statistic). During this same time period, the quarterback was also voted to three Pro Bowls and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week four times.
But since the 2010 season, Dallas has only won 55 percent of the games in which Romo started from under center and the quarterback has only been voted to one more Pro Bowl (2014).
Winning is not necessarily the most important factor in determining a player’s Hall of Fame worthiness (see Barry Sanders), but it certainly does not hurt to be a part of a successful team either (see Terry Bradshaw and Troy Aikman). Romo has played in a total of six playoff games during his career and only found his time on the winning side of the scoreboard just once.
Of course, all of the blame for these losses should not be placed on Romo. But since he is the quarterback, he is normally the person people focus on the most when a team is unable to come up with a victory.
Let’s take a look at some of the quarterbacks who are actually in the Hall of Fame.
Of the last 10 quarterbacks to be voted into Canton (including the 2017 class), nine of them have played in a Super Bowl and seven have been named the NFL’s MVP at least once. Two things that Romo has not even come close to accomplishing since he entered the league in 2005.
To be considered a true Hall of Famer, one must be a unique breed of a player whose skills on the football field are inarguably more advanced than those of his competitors. You must separate yourself from the competition, like these players did this year:
Romo has not even been the best at his position during his time in the NFL. He has never ended a season as the league’s leader in passing yards or passing touchdowns and he barely has more career passing yards than Jay Cutler (sorry Jay).
Could Romo land with a new team and have a Brett Favre 2009-type season in 2017? Anything is possible, but betting on the guy who has played in a total of five games in the last two years usually isn’t a smart move.
In the age of everyone getting a participation trophy, Romo may be in for a rude awakening when he never hears the phrase “Hall of Fame quarterback” attached to his name.