Stats aside, Tony Romo needs to win

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
4:00
PM ET
I've enjoyed reading the recent comments from the fans regarding Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. The comments are based on a column written by KC Joyner, an NFL Insider for ESPN, who says Romo is a top-5 quarterback.

I agree. Statistically, Romo is.

Behind the stats, Romo plays tough, leads by example and does win games. Regular-season games.

At this stage of Romo's career, he needs to push his team to bigger things.

Romo has two years left on his contract and there's a belief the Cowboys will extend him for more years. However, Romo has to do something: win in the postseason.

He's got one playoff win, beating the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009.

Romo has to do more. Much more.

If Romo wants to be considered an elite quarterback -- like Eli Manning, Tom Brady, a healthy Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers -- he must push his team toward a deep playoff run.

"It's just about winning," Romo said late last month. "There is no discussion to be had for anybody. There is probably one guy who has ever played the position who didn’t win a Super Bowl who is in the discussion for the greatest quarterbacks and that’s Dan Marino. There are not a lot of them that get thrown around. You know that. It’s the same thing as winning majors in golf. We know what matters as a quarterback. We know what matters."

Romo doesn't get enough credit from the fans and maybe some in the media for what he's done for the Cowboys. He stabilized a position that was hurting the franchise. No quarterback is perfect, just ask the fans of the Baltimore Ravens who want to run Joe Flacco out of town.

Through 77 career starts, Romo is 47-30. Troy Aikman was 45-32 after 77 games and Roger Staubach was 59-18. Brady was 58-19 and Roethlisberger 55-22.

Did Romo cost the Cowboys some games last year? Of course. The debacles against the New York Jets and Detroit Lions come to mind very quickly.

If anything, Romo has to make those around him better.

If Dez Bryant doesn't know the plays (we believe he does), but there's this perception he doesn't, then Romo needs to get on him. Romo said once he doesn't believe in publicly scolding guys, especially on the sideline, that's fine.

Behind closed doors is where he does his best work.

The Cowboys need Romo now more than ever. The defense is getting better, thanks to what Jerry Jones and the front office did in the draft and free agency. It seems the offense really didn't need much tweaking other than the interior of the offensive line.

Upgrades at the guard spots and switching the tackles should improve the offensive line this season. The core group at running back and wide receiver remain the same.

So does the quarterback.

With that in mind, it's time for Romo to get his team into the postseason. And once he gets there, win more than one playoff game. That should be the only stat that should mean something now.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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