Cowboys position series: Quarterback

Tony Romo led the Cowboys to a wild-card win against the Eagles, their first playoff victory since '96. AP Photo/Donna McWilliam

The first in a series looking at each of the Dallas Cowboys’ position groups:

Players: Tony Romo (signed through 2013), Jon Kitna (signed through 2013), Stephen McGee (signed through 2012)

What went right: Romo, who played every offensive down this season, proved that making plays and placing an emphasis on protecting the ball don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Romo drastically reduced his turnovers in what was arguably his best season. He threw only nine interceptions en route to breaking his own team record with 4,483 yards, the third-most in the NFL. He also ranked among the league’s top 10 in touchdown passes (26th), yards per attempt (8.15) and passer rating (97.6).

This was also the season in which Romo established himself as a leader. He was more vocal with his teammates, saying that he felt he had to earn that right over the years. He set the tone for accountability in the spring by vowing to fix what had been his biggest flaw (turnovers) and following through with it.

What went wrong: Romo wasn’t perfect. He played poorly in the loss to the Giants that spoiled the grand opening of Cowboys Stadium. He struggled in the playoff loss to the Vikings, taking a beating from the Minnesota front four. He never established a rapport with Roy Williams, although a lot of the blame for that goes on the receiver.

Kitna got paid good money to hold a clipboard. His inability to hold for kicks forced Romo into that role when it became an issue late in the season.

The Cowboys need to see much more out of McGee, drafted in the fourth round to be a developmental project. He struggled during training camp and the preseason. It’s too early to declare whether McGee can become an NFL-caliber quarterback, but he needs to show signs next summer.

What’s next: The Cowboys are set at this position. They’ll bring another quarterback to training camp, but that player is probably competing for a spot on the practice squad.

There is still room for Romo to grow, but this is the best the Cowboys have been at quarterback since Troy Aikman’s prime.