After signing a $108 million extension with the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, the pressure’s been on Tony Romo to produce for a team that’s shown immense faith in his ability.
This season, he’s delivered with remarkable reliability, with performances that have earned him a trip to February’s Pro Bowl game.
Romo, who’s thrown 34 touchdowns (with only 9 interceptions) in 15 starts, has led the Cowboys to the 2014 NFC East division title and a tie for the league’s best record at 12-4.
His season is about much more than team accolades though, as his run of good form has gone a long way in reversing the perception that a number of fans (fairly of unfairly) have had about him for years.
Simply put, Tony Romo had a season that quieted the critics and became the definition of a comeback story.
For the better part of his career, Romo has been ridiculed as an overrated quarterback who always crumbles when it matters mosts.
Between his committing his most infamous, game-losing error, during that fateful playoff game against Seattle eight seasons ago
To his past three seasons, during which the Cowboys have finished with disappointing 8-8 records after late-season meltdowns.
Romo has become synonymous with the Cowboys’ inability to live up to their historic standards…
While also landing the unwanted role as the poster boy for players who are perceived to be “un-clutch.”
He even started this season with an embarrassing three-interception performance during Week 1, which kept the jokes coming… and coming.
Since then, though, Romo turned his game around and has been on fire ever since.
After promising in July to show the “best version” of himself over the next five years, Romo’s done just that.
Tony Romo: “I think over the course of the next four or five years, you’ll see the best version of me that I’ve had throughout my career.”
– Jon Machota (@jonmachota) July 25, 2014
Following their opening loss against San Francisco, Romo averaged a 115.2 passer rating during a six-game winning streak that launched the Cowboys into the Super Bowl discussion.
During that stretch, he defined the word “clutch.”
Tony Romo has a 92.9 Total QBR in the 2nd half and OT this season – that is the best in the NFL
– ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 13, 2014
Over the whole course of the season, he’s been able to show off the best of his ability to avoid pressure and make game-breaking plays.
He’s also furthered his reputation of playing through serious pain, missing just one game despite severely injuring his surgically repaired back.
Romo has 2 fractured transverse process in back.Yikes.For those (like me) who dont know what a tranverse process is pic.twitter.com/B0jHPL7DZF
– Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) November 1, 2014
Romo on the injury, via Dallas Morning News’ David Moore:
If it turns out to be just the pain tolerance, I will play. That part has never been an issue.
And as the Cowboys’ oldest player, he has perfectly fulfilled the role as the leader of the team.
Michael Irvin on Romo: “This version of Tony & what Tony is doing right now, the leader that he has matured into, absolutely I trust Tony.” – Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 28, 2014
Barry Church on Tony Romo: “He’s our leader, man. We only go as far as he’s going to be able to take us.” – Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 17, 2014
He’s made a mockery of the stigma that he can’t perform late in the season.
And he’s helped the Cowboys to a perfect 8-0 away-game record.
– Jared Sandler (@jsandlerESPN) December 16, 2014
His reward has been a season that’s seen him make history.
For Tony Romo to go from undrafted QB to career passing leader for a #Cowboys franchise that includes Aikman and Staubach is remarkable
– Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) December 22, 2014
All while putting up MVP-like numbers.
Tony Romo finishes with 113.2 rating, fifth-highest in NFL history (minimum 12 starts). Each of the 4 higher ratings won NFL MVP. – Jeff Sullivan (@SullyBaldHead) December 28, 2014
Guess who’s the quarterback-rating league leader?
The NFL Total QBR leader for the 2014 regular season is … Tony Romo http://t.co/6gH0IVivET
– ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 29, 2014
The NFL’s probable league MVP, Tony Romo.
Bonus: Shutting up his detractors must feel good, too.
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