Being a Dallas resident, I have to listen to Dallas Cowboys talk year round. For an awesome couple of months I had the pleasure of hearing nothing about the Cowboys due to the lockout and the great run by the Dallas Mavericks. The star of those Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, has gone straight to superstar status here in Dallas. Dirk is compared to the likes of Troy Aikman, Tom Landry, and Roger Staubach. In Dallas this is essentially God status. Dirk has been the rave of the town for months now, but Tony Romo’s recent heroics have sub planted him.
Some Dallas area analysts are even comparing Dirk and Tony Romo, saying their career paths are shaping in a similar form. While no one will doubt Romo’s toughness and heart after leading the Cowboys to two straight wins with a broken rib and a punctured lung, he is no Dirk. Don’t you have to win a championship to be compared to a champion? This may sound ignorant, but while he may be the most talented athlete ever, LeBron James should not be compared to Michael Jordan, only Kobe Bryant has earned the right to be compared as that complete of a player.
Dirk led his Mavericks to the finals in 2006 in an eventual loss to the Miami Heat. After this loss, his playoff performance was not compared to Larry Bird and Jordan. After winning the 2011 NBA finals, he was compared to these NBA Hall of Famers. After Romo and the Cowboys fell apart last year, was he compared to Terry Bradshaw or Joe Montana?
Is Tony Romo destined to become a Dirk? The answer is simply no. Dirk has been viewed by everyone as an elite scorer in the NBA. Nowitzki won an MVP award in 2007, and was considered by many as the toughest player to stop in the NBA on the offensive side of the floor. Romo is good but has never been considered an elite NFL quarterback. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Drew Brees are the elite quarterbacks, and in an evolving league favoring the offensive side of the ball, the quarterback position is more valued than ever. Sure, every few years there is an Eli Manning or a Trent Dilfer, but the new NFL is legislating defense out. And it takes an elite quarterback to win a super bowl now.
Tony Romo is a great guy and one of the toughest players in the league. He now has the respect of every fan, player, coach, and executive. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and confuse Tony Romo’s heart for championship rings.