Yesterday, Head Coach Wade Phillips had to come to the defense of his starting quarterback and it’s only June! First, it was his conditioning that was called into question and then his leadership abilities.
While I realize that the Cowboys haven’t done well in December the last several years and haven’t managed to win a playoff game in a long time either, to put all of this on Romo is, quite frankly, unfair. So is all of the recent criticism. It takes more than one player to make it deep into a sixteen-game NFL season and post-season, if necessary.
Last year, it was clubhouse turmoil that supposedly derailed the team late in the season. And now, it’s already this same “anonymous” reporting about secret meetings and problems that are already surfacing in just the start of OTA’s and mini-camp!
To even suggest that Romo is in need of better physical conditioning is ludicrous, as my fellow blogger Mr. Sellis pointed out as well. Romo is probably one of the most athleticly gifted people that has ever played in the NFL. By all accounts, he is an above-average golfer, basketball player and, most likely, any other sport there is. Not to mention he has extreme natural competitiveness. This is a man who attempted to qualify for the U.S. Open and has played in several golf tournaments during the past off-seasons he has been with the Cowboys. He is probably more physically fit than most of the players on the team heading into training camp!
There were also questions still lingering about his leadership capability that was addressed by Coach Phillips. Phillips was completely correct and accurate is his assessment stating “he has to do it (lead) from within himself, his own way”. I was in the military for over twelve years and have seen all types of leadership styles and have even been to leadership classes and this has always been the way it was taught. You have to adapt your leadership style with your personality. Romo is very easy going and talented, but also very competitive and it shows on the field. I don’t believe any of the players on the field during a game doubt who is in charge or the leader when it’s the fourth quarter of a close game.
Of course the only definite way to squelch all of this criticism and debate regarding his (Romo’s) play, is to win. And by win I mean win a big game, like a divisional playoff game or even the big one – a Superbowl. So I guess until one or both of these occurs, there will always be doubts and criticisms coming his way.