The Dallas Cowboys are feeling some pressure as they head into OTAs and training camps this summer.
They have been a team with high expectations in each of the past two seasons and in each season they have disappointed finishing 6-10 in 2010 and 8-8 in 2011.
Owner Jerry Jones has indicated that his patience is growing thin with the current crop of players, and especially with his quarterback Tony Romo.
After Romo told ESPNDallas.com that he didn't think his championship window was closing despite being 32-years-old Jones fired off his own quote which seemed to be directed at his quarterback.
There is an urgency. It's my perception that decides when the windows are and where they are, Jones said. With that in mind, I'm saying that we need to get out here, get down to business, get in some playoffs and get knocking on the door.
Romo has put up gaudy numbers in his eight seasons with the Cowboys, especially last season when he compiled a quarterback rating of 102.5 while throwing for 4,184 yards. He was also efficient tossing 31 touchdowns to just ten interceptions.
But, as usual, Romo wasn't without his faults. He fumbled seven times and allowed himself to be sacked a career high 36 times. But it is his record of failures that have drawn the ire of Jones as well as many Cowboy fans.
The botched field goal hold in the playoffs in Seattle in 2006. His second season ended in another playoff embarrassment with an interception against the Giants. It just seems that in crunch time, Romo has been unable to get it done.
Romo is 47-30 as a starter, but that number hides the fact that he is 7-13 in the month of December. He is also just 2-5 in the month of January including a 1-3 record in the playoffs.
His personal life, including dating Jessica Simpson, a trip to Mexico and his love of the game of golf have all been cited as the reason he hasn't performed as well as expected. Those are all pretty thin; it seems hard to believe that he Romo isn't committed to winning.
Perhaps the problem is much simpler, and much more problematic. Romo has a tendency to choke in games when the season is at stake. His playoff fumble in 2006 was the window into the kind of player he is, and he has just proved that image over and over again.
In that game he needed only place a snap down on the ground for a 19 yard chip shot - one of the simplest plays in football. But the pressure of the moment got to him and the ball slipped out of his hands.
Watch him late in the fourth quarter of tight games and see a quarterback with happy feet, and a head that snaps from receiver to receiver in a frantic search for a lifeline. Contrast that with Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady who are all cool and collected under pressure.
The single greatest asset a quarterback can have in the NFL is their ability to do their job under intense pressure. Romo, for all of his impressive gifts, doesn't have that ability.
Fans of the quarterback will point to his 13 fourth quarter comebacks and 14 game winning drives as evidence that he can cope with pressure. But there too a closer examination of the statistics will reveal that he is lacking.
Of those drives, half of them happened in the first few weeks of the season when playoff pictures aren't so clearly defined, making each game less stressful. Also, he has come from behind victories just three times against teams over .500. Romo has padded his numbers coming back against teams he never should have been trailing in the first place.
Romo has spent eight years hinting to everyone who watches him that he just can't get it done on the biggest stage and in the biggest moments. It seems as though Jones is finally coming to that realization and is giving his embattled quarterback one more chance to prove him wrong.
If he doesn't Jones could decide the window has closed and start casting aside his current core in a rebuilding effort. If he does, expect Romo to be the first guy out the door.