Jones not doing Tony Romo favors

IRVING, Texas -- Jerry Jones has lost his mind if he expects Tony Romo to act like Peyton Manning.

Romo certainly doesn't have Manning's talent. And he doesn't prepare the way Manning does.

So what? No one does.

When it comes to preparation, Manning has no peers. You don't hear about New England quarterback Tom Brady or Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers making a three-hour drive to work out a potential first-round draft pick the way Manning did a few years ago.

Then again, Manning should take that approach because he has been his team's de facto offensive coordinator, essentially calling the plays and making all the offensive line adjustments, first with the Indianapolis Colts and now with the Denver Broncos.

Romo isn't the Dallas Cowboys' offensive coordinator. Jason Garrett and Bill Callahan handle most of that.

But for some reason Jones wants to spin a new narrative that Romo is going to be more involved than ever with the offense just because he signed the quarterback to a six-year, $108 million extension with $55 million guaranteed.

"[Tony] is more involved, unequivocally," Jones said. "That ought to produce some success. It will produce some success. I'm talking about the kind of plays we run, a lot of what we do offensively. Tony is going to have more time, more presence. Not only in the offseason, but when the season starts, beginning Mondays -- assuming we played Sundays -- he's going to have more time on the job.

"A part of what we agreed with was extra time on the job, beyond the norm. That doesn't mean that he didn't have a lot of time on the job, but extra time on the job, Peyton Manning-type time on the job."

All you need to know is a 33-year-old veteran such as Romo isn't changing his approach. Besides, the owner does the quarterback a disservice when he suggests Romo needs, or should accept, more responsibility because he has a new deal.

All this does is feed into the silly notion that Romo isn't dedicated to his craft. All it does is give Romo-haters another reason to bash the quarterback when he spends time this offseason playing in golf tournaments just like every other big-time starting quarterback in the NFL.

Do you really think Romo hasn't been involved in creating the game plan? Or Garrett hasn't been asking Romo what plays he prefers to run on Sundays? If that's the case -- and it isn't -- then Garrett would have to be the dumbest coach in NFL history.

This is classic Jerry.

He has taken a public butt-kicking for signing Romo to the extension and giving a quarterback with one playoff win and a 1-6 record in win-and-go-home games more guaranteed money than Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who won the Super Bowl last season.

So now he feels like he needs to justify Romo's deal.


"It's a bonus," said Jones, when asked if Romo hasn't been spending enough time at the facility. "Anybody will tell you that Peyton Manning's involvement in what they do is a bonus as opposed to what the general commitment is of top quarterbacks in the NFL."

Jerry needs to relax. The checks have all cleared. It's over. Like it or not, Romo is here, so there's no need to invent this new narrative involving Romo.

All the Cowboys need is for Romo to play his best football in the Cowboys' biggest games, something he has failed to do.

The latest big-game disaster occurred in December, when Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, essentially playing on one leg, outperformed Romo and guided the Redskins to a 28-18 playoff-clinching win. Romo tossed three interceptions -- two in the first quarter and one with three minutes left in the fourth quarter -- that basically gave Washington the game.

Until Romo's performance in those types of games change, he's always going to be at the epicenter of controversy.

Those who love him will continue to praise him or create excuses for his failures. And those who don't like him will find ways to criticize him no matter what he does.

And it doesn't matter how much time he logs at Valley Ranch.