Aikman Has High Praise For Romo

Quarterback Tony Romo just completed his 16th game as a starter and the numbers are impressive, topping anything Dallas has produced before at that position. Former Cowboys great Troy Aikman had nothing but praise for the current quarterback, who will try to carve up the Vikings secondary on Sunday.

If the last 16 games were a full season, quarterback Tony Romo would have had the best season for a quarterback in Cowboys history.

Romo, whose first official "season" ended with last Sunday's game against the Patriots, has completed 323 of 510 passes for 4,348 yards, 31 touchdowns with 19 interceptions and a passer rating of 95.1.

Consider this:

The passing yardage would be a club record.

The touchdown passes would be a club record.

The passer rating would be the third best in team history.

The attempts would be the third most in club history.

The completions would be second most in club history.

Topping it all, he was 11-5 as a starter.

Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman never put up such numbers during a Hall of Fame career with the Cowboys.

To him, there should be no more remaining questions about Romo.

"No," Aikman said, when asked if had any questions left about Romo. "Over that 16-game span, he has thrown for a ridiculous amount. If Tony had been a first-round pick and had done what he just did, people would be ecstatic.

I'm not saying they are not now. But there wouldn't be anybody saying there are still question marks out there. The negative of being undrafted is that it's a bigger hurdle to prove to people that you are legitimate."

"I think he is for real," Aikman continued. "I think he is unbelievable. He is an incredible talent. The thing I like most about him is that you can tell he loves the competition. His style allows him to create plays. And at times you are going to have games like he had two weeks ago against Buffalo. That's going to occur. I think he's a pretty special talent and I think he has a bright future here for a long time."

Romo, who said the game has slowed down immensely for him since he replaced Drew Bledsoe six games into last season, appreciates what Aikman said.

"I think there's some truth in that," Romo said. "I think you're given a lot more opportunity and things of that nature if you're a high draft pick; that's part of the deal. I think the questions are different now than what they were before. Could he play in this league before? Could he be the starter for a while before? Now it's whether or not you can be a guy who can be one of the upper-echelon guys in the league, the top guys. And that's a good thing to obviously try and get to that point.

Owner Jerry Jones still must cut the check. The two sides are in negotiations on a contract extension for Romo. The holdup is about money — not about Romo's future as a Cowboys quarterback.

Jones said Romo is the team's quarterback for the future.

He said what he has seen from Romo so far this year has been the biggest reason for the team's 5-1 start.

He said Romo tops the list of things he's excited about and he's the main reason the team seems to be on the brink of a Super Bowl run.

"Based on what you've seen, you can expect him to keep improving and keep doing the things we want to have as our quarterback," Jones said. "One of the things that offset the New England loss is Romo's play. If back last spring or before the season you would have told me he was going to play like this, I wouldn't have taken a win over the Patriots for it. He is at the top of the list of things that have gone well for us. He is just playing well. I wouldn't trade where we are with him for anything."


  • CB Jacques Reeves has started the first six games as an injury replacement for first Terence Newman and now Anthony Henry. He has been solid and has helped build depth at cornerback. "It helps now that guys have played and played a while," Phillips said. "Jacques has started every game for us and we thought he was not going to get to play a whole lot. He's gotten better and I think that's going to help us in the long run."

  • SS Patrick Watkins leads the Cowboys with 12 special teams tackles. He had only four all of last year.

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