Why Is Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo so Unlikable?

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistFebruary 6, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 30:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 taclks to Head coach Jason Garrett and  Kyle Orton #18 of the Dallas Cowboys after they failed to convert on a third down against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 30, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Forbes has released its latest rundown of the most disliked athletes in America, which is compiled as a result of recent public surveys from Nielsen Sports and E-Poll.

On the list: A cheater (Lance Armstrong), an alleged liar (Manti Te'o), another cheater (Tiger Woods), a man convicted of domestic violence (Metta World Peace), a juicer (Alex Rodriguez), a man convicted for his involvement in dog fighting (Michael Vick), two grade-A hotheads (Kurt Busch and Jay Cutler), another cheater (Kobe Bryant).

Oh, and Tony Romo.

While Cutler's presence comes as somewhat of a surprise, Romo would appear to make the least sense of all. He "appeals" to only 27 percent of Americans, according to Forbes, which is just four percent higher than a man who most believe played a role in drowning canines. 

Interestingly, Romo did not make last year's top 10. On paper, this was arguably his best season, but the Dallas Cowboys missed the playoffs again and Romo threw three interceptions in the game in which they were eliminated. 

Thus Romo might be the only man on the list who is disliked purely for his on-field performances and results. Cutler comes close, but the Chicago Bears quarterback has a mean streak and has been criticized for his attitude.

Here's what Forbes wrote about Romo: 

Takes lot of heat for a good quarterback who has never harmed anyone or been in trouble off the field. That's life with the high-profile Cowboys - when you don't get to the Super Bowl, people find a way to blame the QB.

The key for Romo is that he's a natural lightning rod in the national spotlight and his extremely popular team has not been successful. LeBron James was in a similar position one year ago, and James ranked sixth on the same list in 2012. He and the Miami Heat won a championship five months later, and now James is nowhere to be seen in the 2013 edition.

So while it's probably unfair that Romo is being grouped with the above list of jerks, philanderers, liars and cheaters, the good news is that unlike all or most of the others, he can salvage his image by doing one thing. 

It involves roman numerals and a trip to Disney World.