Even while his fan support dwindles, Tony Romo still has his most important ally in Dez Bryant.
By JON MACHOTAFS Southwest
The list of
Tony Romo detractors has grown over the years and fuel was added to their fire when the
Dallas Cowboys franchise quarterback threw an interception in the final minutes of a Week 17 loss last season, ending the Cowboys' hopes of a playoff berth on a poorly thrown ball that landed in the hands of Washington Redskins linebacker Rob Jackson.
But even as the group of Romo supporters seems to dwindle, arguably his most important ally remains boldly behind the 32-year-old quarterback.
"Tony's the man,"
Dez Bryant said Wednesday on the NFL Network after being asked if Romo could throw for over 5,000 yards in a season. "I feel like with Tony's ability he can do it with ease. In my eyes, Tony's one of the best quarterbacks in this league.
"I feel like it's my job to help get him there. Not only me, but the rest of the wideouts."
Bryant has never wavered in his support for Romo. Even if they privately disagree on who was to blame for interceptions, Bryant has never publicly doubted the ability of his quarterback.
Heck, Bryant speaks so highly of Romo that the three-time Pro Bowler should have the 24-year-old in the room while Jerry Jones and Romo's agent work on his contract extension. Romo could certainly match Joe Flacco's $20 million-a-year contract if Bryant's doing the talking.
After all, Bryant made it clear Wednesday that Romo is steering the Cowboys' ship.
"Tony's a great leader," Bryant said. "What he does in the locker room, a lot of guys don't see that outside of the locker room. We behind him. He's the leader, we're the troops and we try to do what he wants us to do to the best of our ability."
The only thing missing from Romo's résumé is postseason success. He has one playoff victory in his seven seasons as a starting quarterback and many doubt his ability to win the big game. Romo's interception in Washington led to his record in win-or-go-home games dropping to 1-6.
But that poor record doesn't bother Bryant. His crystal ball says Romo will take the Cowboys deep into the playoffs.
"I feel like he can do it," Bryant said. "I feel like he's gonna do it. All of us are behind him 100 percent. I love Tony. He's a great person and great player. I just feel like we all have to come together probably a little bit more and that's what we're doing.
"That's what we're working on. Coach Garrett does a great job with us. We're looking to do big things in 2013."