Will real Tony Romo please stand up!

It's been another up-and-down season for Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo. (REUTERS)

It's been another up-and-down season for Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo. (REUTERS)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:17 PM ET

With Tony Romo running the show it has always been the best of times and the worst of times.

Charles Dickens didn’t quite have Romo in mind when he penned A Tale of Two Cities but ever since he took over as quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, triumph and tragedy have followed Romo every step of his NFL career.

Romo was a sensation in the second half of the Cowboys 2006 season when taking over for Drew Bledsoe, he salvaged their season by winning five of his six starts and was on the verge of a playoff triumph in a wild-card matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.

On that fateful January day, Romo gave all Cowboys fans a taste of what would follow him the rest of his career.

With Dallas trailing 21-20 and 1:19 on the clock, the Cowboys were a chip-shot field goal away from taking the lead. But inexplicably, Romo, as the holder, would fumble and drop a perfect snap and the Cowboys’ season would end right there.

“I don’t know if I have ever felt this low,” Romo said back then.

The problem for the Cowboys and Romo is that he knows that feeling only too well.

This season he has felt the exact same way he did that January in Seattle following a brutal game against the New York Jets in the season opener and again on Sunday in his wretched second-half performance against the Detroit Lions where he threw three interceptions.

Both games the Cowboys had well in hand and both times, thanks to Romo interceptions, they ended in defeats.

This is Romo’s ninth season with the Cowboys and in Dallas they are still asking: ‘Can he win the big one? Is he capable of leading the Cowboys to a Super Bowl victory?’

The problem in Dallas is that they are no closer to determining the answer to that riddle now than nine years ago.

Under Romo, the Cowboys have gone 1-3 in the post-season, their lone victory a wild-card round victory over the Eagles in 2010. That’s hardly a legacy.

Romo’s up-and-down, in-and-out career has drawn more than its share of criticism, the latest from former Cowboy great Deion Sanders

“I don’t understand this guy,” Sanders said on NFL Network. “Just when you want to believe in him, heroic effort, came back against San Francisco, they said punctured lung and everything. And we praised him, we said, ‘Yeah, he’s that leader, he’s their guy.’ And then you come and do this. What are you thinking? Sooner or later we’ve just got to quit guessing and assuming that this guy’s is the guy to get you over the hump, and say: ‘You know what? This guy is always going to be great statistically, but he’s not that guy that can take you to where you want to go.’ And that’s the Super Bowl.”

Sanders was just getting warmed up.

“Dallas Cowboys fans are sick of it,” Sanders said. “We had (Romo) on our shoulders last week. ‘Oh Tony, he’s our king!’ But now we want to stone him. I’m serious, that’s the way (fans) feel about him because you can’t trust him. I like him. Statistically, he’s great, but you can’t trust him.”

Owner Jerry Jones trusts him though and in Dallas he’s the guy who has the only vote.

“There’s no issue about faith in Romo at any place in this organization, period, any place,” Jones said following the loss to the Lions. “There’s no issue regarding Tony. I had all the confidence in the world in him on the last drive. He has the ability and gives us the best chance to go down and score a touchdown. We didn’t get it done, but we have a lot of faith in Romo.

“If you’re going to try to make the plays, then you got a chance to have some bad plays. But however we go, we’ll go with Tony. As Tony goes, we’ll go.”

The ’Boys are off this weekend due to the first bye week.

No quarterback and no team needs one more.

DOWN, NOT OUT

They are bruised and battered and embarrassed.

It is not what the Pittsburgh Steelers envisioned after their opening four games of the season.

As they gear up for a tougher-than-expected home game this Sunday against the vastly improved Tennessee Titans, the Steelers will have to go into battle without Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison and with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the limp.

On Tuesday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin announced that Harrison will undergo surgery on a fractured right orbital eye socket and will be lost for an undetermined amount of time.

Tests of Roethlisberger’s left foot didn’t reveal any breaks but it is swollen and sore and he will be limited in practice this week.

Also a question to play is running back Rashard Mendenhall, who is suffering from a hamstring injury.

Along with the bodies, the Steelers pride has taken a severe beating this season. They were blown out by the Ravens in the opener and run over by Houston on Sunday.

This season the Steelers defence has looked ordinary while the offensive line has been pathetic.

After the four games the defence has registered seven sacks, which puts them on a pace for 28. Last year they had 48 to rank first in the league.

Last year they also had the top defence against the run, allowing just 62.8 yards per game. This year they have allowed 119.5 yards per game to rank 23rd in the league.

Now they get Chris Johnson and the Titans.

As for protecting Roethlisberger, there is no protection as he has been sacked 14 times.

It all points in one direction and that direction is down.

“Worried? No,” Harrison said of the Steelers following Sunday’s loss. “Concerned? Yeah. We have to get things shored up. Whether that’s changing this and changing that, I don’t know, but we have to get something done because it’s not working so far.

“I haven’t seen it like this, maybe a preseason game here and there, but not like this the way it’s going right now.”


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