It's Report Card time people! Time to take out your No. 2 pencils, change purses, and 3-ring binders (oh, you have a 5 ring? Get out of my class. Now.) and listen up. Class is in session. We'll be working to evaluate every single position and every single player on the 2012 Dallas Cowboys, and will do our best to assign a positional grade. Don't like what we have to say? Well you have two choices. Simply shake your head and click off the page or get involved! We're always looking for feedback either here, on Facebook, on twitter, or maybe just climb on top of your roof and start yelling. I'll hear it, don't worry. So without further ado, let's talk about the Quarterbacks.
Is there any position in sports more discussed than the Dallas Cowboys Quarterback? Doubt it. Unfortunately for us Dallas fans, much of that discussion has been negative since Troy Aikman retired. In 2012, we saw pretty much the entire spectrum of QB play and then some, and it was enough of a roller-coaster ride to make some less intestinally-strong fans lose their lunch. Overall, and it brings me great sadness to say this, the QB position was a borderline failure for the team in 2012.
The man that has defined the position for 6 years now is Tony Romo. Kyle Orton is a nice safety net, but his lack of impact on the season means he has no impact on this overall grade. It's all on Tony. What else is new?
Without Romo, the Dallas Cowboys wouldn't have even sniffed the playoffs. During the 7 game stretch that saw this team shoot from 3-5 to 8-7, there were few better Quarterbacks on Earth. He was completing everything, not turning the ball over, avoiding behemoths trying to remove his head, and probably even cutting up the orange slices at halftime. But what about those other 9 games? What happened there? Not good things, that's what happened.
Romo finished the season with 4903 yards (by far a career high), 28 touchdowns, and a career-high-tying 19 interceptions. Amazingly, a whopping 14 of those interceptions came in only 4 games ( both games vs. WSH, 2nd game vs. NYG, and CHI). What that tells us is this: The majority of the time, Romo is a top-tier QB who can will a team to in by himself. But sometimes, and you never know when, bad Tony shows up and ruins the party.
So, now to the grade. We've had a lot of discussion on Facebook about what it actually should be. Some folks, like Rob Burns and Mike Dougherty, think Romo deserves at least a B, and I understand why. As they point out, he's a damn good QB who isn't surrounded by enough talent to consistently win. Others, like Maggie Saco and Barbara Cherry, feel as though Romo didn't even come close to a passing grade (Hey Maggie, if Romo's a 0, then what's that make guys like Ryan Lindley, Brandon Weeden, and Mark Sanchez?). We feel it's somewhere in the middle. The way we see it, Romo earned a perfectly compotent B+ up until the last game of the season. He'd won a bunch of games for this team, lost a few, but was making all the right plays up until Week 17. And then they played that game. We took some heat during the game for saying this, but Romo lost us that game. The defense, while ravaged by the run all night, gave them a chance to win. If we were all given the opportunity to have Romo take the field down 3 with 3 minutes remaining against the Redskins, we'd have all taken it. I bet even Garrett and Romo (especially Romo) would've taken it. But Tony let us down. His 3rd pick of the night proved too costly, and the team had nothing left.
That final letdown brings Tony's and the QB position's grade as a whole down to a C-. It simply wasn't good enough.
I'm sure plenty of you disagree. Spell it out in the comments and let's talk!
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