FIGHTING FOR RESPECT: Tony Romo mentioned with Cliff Harris, Chuck Howley among most underrated Cowboys of all-time
There are plenty of Cowboys fans who feel like Tony Romo gets a bad rap. But is the Dallas Cowboys quarterback really one of the most underrated players in franchise history?
That’s what NFL.com analyst Elliott Harrison recently wrote while trying to name the most overrated and underrated players in the history of the Dallas Cowboys.
“While the Cowboys have a myriad of issues, be it offensive line, DeMarco Murray’s health, or a defense that couldn’t stop anyone last year, Romo was not the problem,” Harrison wrote. “He’s been a solid citizen in Dallas and a very good player, if not great. His most famous miscue — the dropped snap against the Seattle Seahawks — was bad. Too bad no one ever mentions the fact that almost no starting quarterbacks in the NFL are ever asked to hold for kicks. If Romo is really as terrible as people say he is, then why don’t people hate Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson or Drew Henson? Because they stunk.”
Romo joined an underrated list that included Chuck Howley, Cliff Harris, Darren Woodson and Everson Walls — some pretty elite company. But Harrison says Romo’s 95.6 passer rating (which ranks fifth all-time among quarterbacks) and his 55-38 record as a starter are proof that he’s far outplayed his reputation.
Harrison also has an interesting rebuttal for the players who didn’t vote Romo on the NFL Network’s Top 100 list recently.
“An explanation for Romo not being a ‘Top 100 player’ is that he isn’t clutch, like an Eli Manning,” Harrison wrote. “Take a wild guess who the NFL’s active leader in fourth quarter passer rating is … as in, higher than Brady, Brees, and Eli? Yup, it’s Romo.”
Today the Cowboys will induct Larry Allen, Charles Haley and Drew Pearson into the Ring of Honor. It’s the first time the Cowboys have conducted such an event since the Triplets in 2005.
With that we look at ten players who might be next for the Jerry Jones committee of one to consider.
Harvey Martin.No name resonates more with former Cowboys players than this man. He led the Cowboys in sacks seven times, is the unofficial franchise leader with 114 and holds the single-season mark of 23 sacks in the 1977 season. Before there was Charles Haley and DeMarcus Ware, Martin along with Randy White and Bob Lilly set the standard for pass rushers in franchise history.
Bill Bates.A special teams ace and despite making just one Pro Bowl, 1984, he was a beloved figure in Cowboys lore. When you think of outstanding special teams players in Cowboys history, Bates’ name comes up first. Nobody was better on a unit the causal fan knew nothing about.
Darren Woodson. A three-time All Pro, a five-time Pro Bowler won three Super Bowl titles. He was a talented safety who not only covered tight ends but wide receivers. His presence is still felt at Valley Ranch, because the Cowboys have not replaced him and his signature is inside a locker of former safety Roy Williams, that’s now the home of cornerback Terence Newman.
Everson Walls. He led the Cowboys in interceptions five times, is second all-time in franchise history with 44 and still holds the single-season record with 11 picks in 1981. The 11 picks is also the franchise record for a rookie. It would be nice if Walls gets in with Martin, another Dallas native.
Jimmy Johnson. The second coach in Cowboys history rebuilt the franchise and won two Super Bowl titles and the third one, XXX in 1995 was with Barry Switzer, but it was Johnson’s team. The ending was bad, but there’s no denying what Johnson meant to the franchise.
Charlie Waters. A three-time Pro Bowler at strong safety, Waters started 22 of 25 playoff games. He was a fierce hitter who gets lost because we talk so much about Cliff Harris. Waters is considered one of the top safeties in Cowboys history.
Deion Sanders.He made his mark with Atlanta, yet, Sanders was a four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All Pro and of course won one title with the Cowboys. Sanders holds the career mark for punt return average at 13.3. He was the first big money free agency signed by the Cowboys and he was a playmaker on defense and special teams.
Daryl Johnston. When Emmitt Smith broke the all-time rushing mark, he hugged this man. Johnston didn’t miss a game from 1992-to-1995. Johnston is one of the best fullbacks in franchise history, and his blocks paved the way for Smith to get a bulk of his yardage.
Danny White. The third-round pick from Arizona State, made only one Pro Bowl, and he had just one losing season in the years he started, 1987 where he compiled a 3-6 mark at age 35. He took the Cowboys to three NFC title games, never advancing to the Super Bowl. White is second in completions in franchise history at 1,761.
Mark Stepnoski.A five-time Pro Bowler who won three titles. But here’s a little known fact: He was named to the second-team of the 1990s All-Decade team. Stepnoski was a solid player during his era, not only with the Cowboys but in the NFL as well.