Boom or Bust: Trust in Tony Romo

Has Tony Romo become the answer in Dallas?

Should Tom Coughlin be fired?

Is Jim Caldwell the coach of the year?

Will the Ravens and Jets seal the deal?

We break it down in our

Schein 9 boom or bust style…

1. The Cowboys should trust in Romo

BOOM!

I think something pretty special has happened in Dallas this

year and we need to seize the moment and acknowledge it.

Tony Romo has become the team leader of the ‘Boys, guiding

them back to the playoffs, winning big games in tough spots in

December.

For all of the critics screaming one year ago, I don’t hear

or see enough credit directed toward the Dallas quarterback.

Romo played excellent football in New Orleans and Washington

to give Dallas a spot in the playoffs. He’s done a nice job all

year showing improvement protecting the football. That’s a big and

important turn.

And it all started in the offseason after last year’s

debacle.

When we talked on Sirius NFL Radio this Tuesday, he didn’t

mention T.O. or even Jessica Simpson by name, but he did reference

less distractions compared to a season ago. And Romo also added

that he thought the Cowboys were, “a little better and a little

healthier now than they were last year”. And I agree.

But the turning point was truly in February.

Romo said, “We decided as a group in February that we were

going to do what it takes, do it the Cowboy way. We were going to

be united and committed. We were going to hold each other

accountable. We were going to perfect the little things, the

details. We would get in early and stay late, put in the extra

time. It’s allowed us to grind out wins.”

That’s great stuff. And he’s right. And Jerry Jones’ decision

to make this Wade Phillips’ and Tony Romo’s team turned out to be

brilliant.

Romo cited 3 turning point games of the season; winning in

overtime in Kansas City when they were 2-2, beating the Eagles in

Philadelphia after how the season ended last year, and the huge win

in New Orleans.

Roy Williams made some comments before the first Eagles game

and Romo defused them. Roy Williams is speaking now and nobody even

pays attention.

And while he went out of his way to praise the coaches, the

defense and other players on offense, let me give Romo the credit

for having an excellent season. He stayed out of the limelight and

Us Weekly. His sole priority was getting the Cowboys in to

the playoffs and advancing in the tournament and it showed. Winning

matters to Tony Romo.

Dallas has a chance to win a division on Sunday and could

even get the No. 2 seed if things break right. Regardless of the

outcome this weekend, it’s been a heck of a turnaround and you have

to trust in Romo.

2. Wade Phillips should be fired if Dallas doesn’t win a

playoff game

This is a total

bust.

Now, a win on Sunday against Philly would go a long way

— but even if the Cowboys lose, Phillips should come back

regardless of what happens in the playoffs. He did a very good job

in a pressure-packed situation. And Dallas has a lot of young stars

on defense, like Mike Jenkins and Jay Ratliff, who Phillips has

developed. Making the playoffs, in my opinion, should ensure a

return to Big D.

And that’s not to say Dallas won’t win in January, as I think

they will be a very difficult out. John Madden told me on Sirius

NFL Radio that he thinks Dallas will be a very dangerous team in

the playoffs.

3. Philly is the Super Bowl favorite in the NFC

I wrote it two weeks ago. I’ll say it again, even with the

bad news that center Jamaal Jackson is out. It’s a

boom.

And I still believe this is the case even if Philly loses on

Sunday in Dallas. And I think Dallas will win.

But the NFC has become an offensive conference and Philly can

rack up the points with Donovan McNabb, DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek

and company. And the defense has great cornerbacks and is very

aggressive.

I love the Saints, but right now Philly is a bit better. I

really respect Arizona and Green Bay and think both are capable of

big runs, but Philly is too complete.

4. The Vikings will lose the first playoff game they play

I’m going

boom.

I told you last week the Vikings couldn’t survive Favre vs.

Chilly.

The problems, evident on Monday Night Football against the

defunct Bears, run ever deeper than a quarterback/coach

controversy.

Jared Allen couldn’t beat Chris Williams. Antoine Winfield is

clearly not 100 percent. The team badly misses E.J. Henderson. The

offensive line is a mess. Adrian Peterson can’t hold onto the ball.

I’ll take whoever the Vikings play in round 1 of the playoffs

to win. And if they somehow get the bye, they will lose in round 2.

5. Tom Coughlin should be on the hot seat

What is this, amateur hour? That’s a

bust.

General manager Jerry Reese gets more blame than the head

coach, whiffing on three defensive pickups via free agency in the

offseason. He overpaid for backups in Chris Canty and Michael

Boley, who flopped as starters. I’m still waiting for Rocky Bernard

to make a play. And I begged Reese to keep Brandon Jacobs focused

by franchising him, not giving him a long-term deal. Bill Sheridan

held this team back and will be replaced immediately as defensive

coordinator.

The Giants’ season was very disappointing. Go ahead and blame

Coughlin for the Week 16 no-show. But have some perspective.

Coughlin is still a great coach.

6. Same Old Jets – Cincy wins this weekend

B-U-S-T, bust, bust, bust!

In theory, the Jets, who started 3-0, haven’t dealt well with

success all season long. But it doesn’t sound like Carson Palmer is

going to play much this Sunday night. J.T. O’Sullivan doesn’t stand

a chance against the Jets defense.

The Jets will make the playoffs.

7. The Raiders will upset Baltimore

It makes you pause as Oakland has knocked off Philly, Cincy,

Pittsburgh and Denver this year.

But it’s a

bust.

The Ravens are the vastly superior team with too much to play

for. I think Oakland will compete hard and it will be a game, but

too much Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and Haloti Ngata for Oakland to deal

with.

8. Tony Gonzalez was the biggest Pro Bowl snub

Actually, Brent Celek not making it was a bigger deal. So

this is a

bust.

Here’s my six pack of snubs…

Antonie Bethea and David Harris are on my first team All-Pro

roster, which combines NFC and AFC. They should’ve been Pro Bowl

locks.

Thomas Jones deserved it over Ray Rice.

Matt Schaub had a better year than Tom Brady.

Chris Kemoeatu is superior to Alan Faneca.

What does London Fletcher have to make a Pro Bowl!?

9. Jim Caldwell is the coach of the year

I killed him on FOXsports.com on Tuesday. I killed him on

Jets Postgame Live and Loud Mouths on SNY Sunday and Monday. I

interviewed Caldwell and killed him on Sirius NFL Radio on Monday

and continued to kill him for pulling his starters all week long.

It’s a

boom.

Preseason, I didn’t pick Indy to make the playoffs. Tony

Dungy is a Hall of Famer. I didn’t know how Caldwell would fare.

This team played with heart, passion, and toughness under Caldwell.

The Colts played their best in the 4th quarter under Caldwell. The

decision to eschew perfection was goofy and perhaps an all-time

gaffe. But I can’t let it cloud my judgment when voting.