Tuesday, June 16, 2009

2009 shaping up to be make or break season for Romo

Posted by Anthony Stalter (06/16/2009 @ 10:44 am)

New attitude, new stadium, new workout regime and no T.O. – it’s now or never for Tony Romo.

Everything you read and hear about Romo is that he remains straddling the line between good and great. He obviously has more than enough talent to compete in the NFL, as his career numbers (10,562 yards, 81 TDs, 46 INTs, 94.7 QB Rating) certainly indicate. But he’s been called out for not being enough of a leader and his overall workout habits have come into question now as well.

According to a report by the Dallas Star-Telegram, Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett had a “come to Jesus meeting” with Romo about his conditioning habits. Garrett instructed his quarterback to not only get into good enough shape to allow him to have another fast start, but the kind of the shape that won’t allow him to wear down as the season progresses.

Team personnel have noticed that Romo tends to break down towards the end seasons because he’s not in good enough shape physically when he enters camp. He makes more mistakes as the season progresses because his legs get heavy and he loses mental focus.

Romo apparently has used this offseason to work on all of his weaknesses, including being a more vocal leader and getting into the best shape of his career. While becoming a leader isn’t something that one can practice (leading is more something you’re born with), getting into better condition is something that can be attained and it looks like Romo is on his way to improving in that area.

As previously noted, the Cowboys released wideout Terrell Owens this offseason. Speculation has it that Romo was one of the people within the organization that was championing for T.O. to get the boot and whether that’s true or not is irrelevant at this point. All that matters is that Owens is gone and now all eyes are on Romo to get this team to the next level.

Romo is essentially out of excuses; he has more than enough talent around him to win and doesn’t have the distractions that Owens brought to the table in the past. If he is straddling the line between good and great, then this is the season for him to cross over the threshold and never look back. Quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger know what it takes not only to be efficient signal callers, but to also get their team to rise up in the fourth quarter and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. If Romo doesn’t want to be considered as just another good quarterback who can’t win in the clutch, he needs to put everything on his shoulders this season and the Cowboys over the hump.