He wants to be a leader on the most focused in on team the National Football League. But for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, is it already too late? After all, Romo is a player that has faced numerous perceptions about being a player that is known more for his dating life and vacation habits than known for being a team leader. Let’s all remember that this is the same guy that spent the bye week before the divisional playoff game last season in Cabo San Lucas with cover girl Jessica Simpson and good pal Jason Witten.
Then Romo and the rest of his teammates went out as the number one seed in the conference and laid an egg to division rival New York. Then there was the injury this past season that sat him down for a couple of tough weeks, and when he came back the team simply never reached that level that many thought they would. The Cowboys were maybe the biggest failure of the 2008 season for being a team with a load of talent, but falling one game short of the playoffs.
How much of that failure is due to Romo?
I would have to say that at this point of his career, Romo and the Cowboys should be further ahead. The QB last season threw for 3448 yards and 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Sure he again had the injury to his pinkie finger, but at the same time, with the talent around him, Romo was not able to get this team in the playoffs, something that he was given a monster contract to do.
In the seasons final blowout loss to the Eagles, Romo was 21-for-39 for 183 yards with a pick. He threw five touchdowns and six interceptions in the teams final four games as they were trying to do whatever they could to make it to the postseason. Instead, losses to the Ravens in the final game at Dallas Stadium and in Philly to the Eagles started an offseason of “what if.”
Romo then went a little further to put his football life in question when he said some rather head scratching comments after the loss to the Eagles. “If I’m never going to win the Super Bowl, I’ll be content in life. I’ll be disappointed because that’s what I wanted to do,” Romo said. “At that same point, it’s not going to be something that makes me a better human being. I think I’m going to work very hard to try to obtain those goals. But I’m not going to pretend to say that that’s what life’s all about either.”
Right now with Simpson by his side, it doesn’t seem like that is what life is ever going to be about for Romo, which is why the Cowboys very well may never reach their potential with him under center. Now this past week with more firestorm from former Cowboys QB Troy Akiman questioning his play, Romo has tried to put water on the fire with talk that in 2009 he’ll be more of a leader.
“I think leadership sometimes comes with your ability to perform and your personality,” Romo said. “And some of it comes with experience. In a lot of ways, I think I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve gained experience. I’m definitely going to take a more active approach with that as we move forward from last year to this season, I’ll be very excited to get back out there and be with the guys and figure out a way to improve and get better and do the things we need to do to win. Period.”
But again, is it already to late for this gun slingin party boy with the high profile girlfriends to turn it around? 2009 may give us the final answer to that question.