DENVER - OCTOBER 04: Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys hands off to running back Marion Barber #24 against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 4, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Cowboys 17-10. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Tony Romo is following in the footsteps of Brett Favre, his childhood hero; not by winning a Super Bowl or a league MVP, but more dubiously, by nipping at the 40 year-old's heels in terms of being 'overrated.'
According to a poll by Sports Illustrated, which asked 239 NFL players to identify the most overrated player in the game today, Tony Romo is one of the top five most over-hyped players, behind only Brett Favre, in the league; and somewhere Tony Dorsett said, "Ha! I told you so!"
As reported in USA Today, the poll breaks down like this:
Terrell Owens: 8%
Eli Manning: 7%
Ben Roethlisberger: 5%
If these polls are good for nothing else (and they aren't, really), they pose some interesting questions. First, it would be intriguing to know the criteria for what makes a player 'overrated' in this sense; aside from Romo, and his former teammate Owens, everyone in the top five has won at least one Super Bowl, meaning that 'winning', the supposed cure-all for criticism great and small (this is especially true for quarterbacks), only goes so far.
While Romo's being on the list is no surprise, whether he is actually overrated is debatable. This is because, when he first came in the league, the 29 year-old was anointed almost immediately as Dallas' savior; considering that title, and the reality of the last three years, yes, Romo is, or more accurately, has been, overrated. But a lot has changed from pre-week two 2008 and pre-week two 2009--when the poll was conducted.
Now, the idea of Romo being overrated has proliferated to the point of being no longer true; that is, no one seems to think Romo's that good in the first place these days, which makes it patently impossible for him to be 'overrated'.
The opposite of this is true as well; the Twins Justin Morneau is still labeled 'underrated' constantly, even after three all-star appearances and a league MVP, which would seem to indicate that his 'rating' is actually fairly accurate.
Romo is in a similar, but much more loathsome place. It is no longer possible for him to be 'overrated.' And that's not a compliment.