Cowboys QB Tony Romo is no stranger to criticism. He's been derided over his career for turning the ball over, dating famous people, taking ill-timed vacations, botching snaps, playing too casually, etc. He even got knocked for wearing his hat backwards by Jay Mariotti, because Jay Mariotti apparently lives in the year 1932.
But shots at Romo have been minimal during this Cowboys preseason, perhaps due to the fact that he's coming back from injury, or perhaps because every criticism of Romo has already been voiced many times over. But former Raiders QB Rich Gannon broke the dam earlier this week when he took Romo to task for not being a better taskmaster. From USA Today:
I have met him, and I sense he is highly competitive and motivated. The one constructive criticism I would give Tony is that he has to be more demanding of his teammates.
I'd say that's a pretty gentle critique of Romo, who has always been derided for lacking in intensity. But then you have former Cowboys QB Babe Laufenberg, who also rips Romo in the same article.
"Tony doesn't have the body language — he is not Troy Aikman or Roger Staubach," says Laufenberg, a quarterback-turned-broadcaster. "There are many things he does that, quite honestly, if I were his agent, I would say, 'Tony, put your hat on straight.' People mistake that for being non-competitive."
Again with the hat. If people mistake that for being non-competitive, then how is that Romo's problem? Why does it matter if he actually IS competitive? Laufenberg - who was a terrible QB in his day, mind you - is bringing the arguments against Romo back to Stupidtown again. You know who occasionally wears a backwards hat? The reigning Super Bowl MVP. I don't see that impeding his progress much.
You can criticize Tony Romo for many things, almost all of them turnover-related, but to nitpick about his hat, especially going into a new season, is dumb. Among Cowboys QBs with 50 or more starts, he's the most accurate QB in team history. You don't throw all that out because you think he listens to the hippity hop. Could he stand to be a better leader? Yes. Could he be better at overcoming distractions? Yes. Does Romo already know all this? YES. I'm sure the only thing that tires him more is losing.