The hate for Tony Romo

February, 9, 2013
2/09/13
11:00
AM ET
Forbes released America's Most Disliked Athletes this past week, and I was surprised to see Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo on the list.

Romo is 10th.

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The interesting thing about Romo is his off-the-field antics have been nothing to worry about. He plays soccer and basketball in the offseason, has had a few celebrity girlfriends, visited Cabo during the bye week of the playoffs in 2007, and last year donated $1 million to Dr. Tony Evans' Urban Alternative to help raise money for a national Church Adopt-A-School initiative.

He's never been in trouble with the law. Never been popped for PEDs. He's played in pain and challenges his teammates in private and in public settings.

So why the hate?

Romo plays for America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys, and with that comes expectations. Since becoming the starter in 2006, Romo has won one playoff game and is 1-6 in win-or-go-home games.

Some of Romo's biggest disappointments have been on national television -- most recently, his three-interception game in the regular season finale at the Washington Redskins with a playoff berth on the line.

It's a hard life, but until Romo pushes his team to a deep playoff berth, some fans might hate him.

If you judge Romo on a small sample, 2010-12, he is one of 14 NFL quarterbacks with over 10,000 passing yards. He's thrown for 10,692 yards -- 11th most in the NFL -- and his 70 touchdown passes ties him for eighth among QBs from 2010-12. Romo has also thrown 81 passes of 25 or more yards -- eighth most in the league. That's more than Michael Vick, Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.

The problem, of course, whether it's Romo's fault or not, is he plays for the Cowboys, and the expectations are high for this team. Until Romo gets a Super Bowl, they will continue to be. And at 33 when the 2013 season starts in September, time is starting to run out on him.

One of the most hated? That's unfair to Romo. He is a good quarterback and just hasn't won the big enough game to get his team to the Super Bowl.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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