NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 19: Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after throwing for his second touchdown against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on December 19, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
It's hard to believe that earlier this season, some fans and media figures (Jay Mariotti) had the temerity to suggest that Tony Romo should be benched. This was a bad idea on par with New Coke, the Bay of Pigs invasion and The Jeff Dunham Show, though, since the idea went ignored on the grounds that it was really, really dumb, it was less harmful and more laughable.
In any case, if you gave this idea even the slightest of serious consideration, please put on your dunce cap and go sit in the corner a while.
It's no secret Romo has struggled. As the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, your struggles are not only ultra-visible, but fodder for deconstruction and relentless, year-round scrutiny. But as Romo has so consistently said this season, the game operates as a continual learning process. Judging by this December--the month that has meant doom recently for Cowboys fans--the 29-year-old shot-caller has been taking good notes.
Since the calendar turned to December back in 2009, Romo has gone 131 for 191 passing. More importantly, he has thrown nine touchdown passes to just two interceptions, on his way to a career-best 26:9 ratio. In the five games over this span, only one--at Washington in week 16--has seen Romo post a passer rating of less than 100.
Beyond proving he can be an adequate leader for this Cowboys team, Romo has made a pretty solid case for being among the premier quarterbacks in the league. It would be hard to argue that Romo belongs in the Pro Bowl this season, just because the three voted in--Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre--all have better numbers.
But Romo is playing the best football of his career thus far, silencing many of his more outspoken critics.
All he needs now, it seems, is a playoff win.