First-round bust runs mouth about Romo

OXNARD, Calif. – A mostly irrelevant former NFL defensive tackle found a way to get some attention.

Travis Johnson ripped Tony Romo on TV, saying a bunch of inflammatory things during a CSN Houston roundtable discussion.

“Tony Romo has not earned a dollar he’s been given in this league,” Johnson declared. He later added: “He’s a thief; he needs to be brought up on federal charges.”

Even the harshest Romo critic who has at least one rational brain cell would have to admit that the $10,000 signing bonus the Cowboys gave him when he was an undrafted rookie was one heck of an investment. And the six-year, $67 million deal that was set to expire after this season looks like a pretty good bargain when you compare Romo’s production to David Garrard’s in Jacksonville and Marc Bulger’s in St. Louis, to pick a pair of quarterbacks who signed similar extensions around the same time.

The Cowboys certainly got much better bang for their buck with Romo than the Houston Texans did with Johnson, who got $7.7 million guaranteed in his rookie contract after being selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2005 draft.

Johnson’s totals during his Texans tenure: two sacks, zero forced fumbles, zero fumble recoveries. He lasted four seasons in Houston, which dumped him before the final year of his rookie deal, just in case any more evidence was needed that Johnson was a big-time first-round bust.

Johnson did manage to make one more sack during his two-season stint in San Diego. Then he was out of the league when he should have been hitting his prime.

Good thing for Johnson that being an overpaid NFL player isn’t a federal crime. He might be Sam Hurd’s cellmate if that was the case.