DeMarcus Ware: Tony Romo is elite
OXNARD, Calif. -- With all due respect to the Super Bowl winners that he has chased, Pro Bowl outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware considers Dallas Cowboys teammate Tony Romo to be in that class of quarterback.
As far as Ware is concerned, it's up to the rest of the Cowboys to help Romo prove he belongs in conversations about the NFL's elite quarterbacks.
"When you have a quarterback that wins a championship -- like an Eli (Manning) or Drew Brees or any of those guys, (Ben) Roethlisberger -- those guys get put on a different pedestal once they got to that championship," Ware told ESPNDallas.com. "(It is) because everyone around knew what it took to get there.
"I look at (Romo) and say he is (an elite quarterback). He's been that way every year. We've just got to find some way to get there. It takes a team. It's not just the offense, it's not just the defense or special teams. It takes everybody putting in, as Jerry Jones says, 'Emptying the bucket,' and just doing what we need to do."
Romo's career passer rating of 96.9 ranks second behind only Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers in NFL history. However, the Cowboys have won only one playoff game with Romo, a starter since midway through the 2006 season.
Head coach Jason Garrett believes Romo, 32, is coming off the best season of his career. Romo had a career-best 102.5 passer rating in 2011, throwing for 4,184 yards with 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. But the Cowboys finished 8-8, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants in a regular-season finale that determined the NFC East title and a playoff berth.
"A lot of that shows up on the stat sheet," Garrett said, referring to Romo's talent and development. "Not enough of that stuff shows up in the win column. We need to do better as an organization. I need to do a better job as a coach, our staff needs to do a better job, we need to do a better job as a football team and hopefully we'll get that win column the way we want it to be."
As a Cowboys quarterback, Romo is frequently and unfavorably compared to Hall of Fame predecessors Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, who combined to win five Super Bowls. Romo accepts that he'll ultimately be judged by whether he wins a title.
"Well, it's not about statistics," Romo said earlier this summer. "It's about winning. That's what the story is going to be written when it's all said and done."