Sports Outside the Beltway

Tony Romo the Next Tom Brady?

ESPN’s Peter King thinks Cowboys backup Tony Romo could be the next Tom Brady.

IT SEEMS SACRILEGIOUS TO COMPARE ROMO TO BRADY, BUT…. From Josh of Bloomington, Ind.: “This comment pertains to your choice of the Cowboys as the NFC champion. I fully agree with you that their defense will be stout and would be the reason for them making it to the big game. But (and this may make me sound like the Patriots fan I am) as nice a guy as he is, Drew Bledsoe is incapable of leading a team to the Super Bowl. His decision-making skills are too flawed, especially under pressure. He’s not the kind of conservative, ball-control quarterback this team would need to go that far. But when reading your article I began to think about the potential parallels between the 2000-01 Patriots and the ’06-07 Cowboys. Could Tony Romo execute a conservative game plan that would approximate Brady’s role back in that season? Could Mike Vanderjagt make some clutch kicks and transform his reputation? And could Bill Parcells (in an ironic turn) adopt some of Belichick’s strategies to disrupt a powerhouse offense (now Indy’s instead of the Rams’) and bring home a title they had no business winning? Hmmmmm.”

One of the greatest e-mails I’ve ever received. I’ve thought of exactly the same thing, which is probably why I like the e-mail. Most people would simply laugh at the comparison between Brady and Romo, but not me. Not that I think Romo will turn into Brady, but it’s possible he can morph into a very good NFL starter … a guy capable of leading the Cowboys farther than Bledsoe. He does more things. He’s more mobile, in particular, and that will be vital to the Dallas offense this year because of the line’s shakiness. We’ll see if you and I are proven right.

Now, I have no idea of Romo’s potential. He was an undrafted free agent and has not thrown a single pass in an NFL game in his three year career to date, despite two of those teams not making the playoffs. Still, he could be a stud in the making for all I know.

What’s funny, though, is how little respect Bledsoe garners, let alone from a self-described Pats fan. Bledsoe led the Patriots to one Super Bowl and, after he got hurt and replaced by Brady for most of a season, he came off the bench and led them to victory in the AFC Championship game. Granted, Bellichick decided to go with a healthy Brady, who QB’d the Pats’ first SB win, and then shipped Bledsoe off to Buffalo for two 1st rounders the following offseason. Still, that’s two Super Bowls that Bledsoe has had a hand in.

Indeed, by statistical measures, Bledsoe is a borderline Hall of Fame candidate. Were he to repeat last season’s statistical performance and take this Cowboys team to the Super Bowl–a longshot but hardly inconceivable–I think he’d be a lock for Canton.

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