Toomer might prefer Romo to Eli but Witten says it doesn't matter

'We all can do more,' Witten said. 'We understand that.' (US PRESSWIRE)

In retirement, former Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer has been much more loquacious than he ever was during his playing days. Previoulsy this offseason, Toomer weighed in on Kurt Warner's claim that he wouldn't want his kids playing football because of the injury risks, suggesting that the Super Bowl-winning quarterback keep his opinions to himself (while ironically offering up his own opinion), once compared NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to the Nazis, and used Twitter to express his views on Jeremy Shockey's character flaws.

So no one was surprised that Toomer offered up more controversy when he said earlier this month that he'd take Tony Romo and his one playoff win over Eli Manning, former teammate and two-time Super Bowl champ.

"I love Eli, and I respect the hell out of him as a person," Toomer said last week. "But I have to do my job, and I have to look at him beyond what the perception is because the perception doesn't always go hand in hand with the reality. … I was all set -- Romo's no good, he's a fourth-quarter choker -- and then I started doing my job," he continued. "I started looking at the numbers. I started looking at the statistics. I started looking at the quarterback rating. And I was shocked. I was shocked at how good Tony Romo's statistics really were. This guy is really impressive."

Look, we agree that the perception of Romo often doesn't match reality. We've written before about this, pointing out that the criticism isn't entirely fair; according to Football Outsiders' metrics, Romo ranked fourth in value per play last year behind Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. And the year before, he was ninth. The problem, of course, is that the Cowboys didn't break .500 in 2010 or 2011 and haven't been to the playoffs since 2009.

One of Romo's favorite targets, tight end Jason Witten considers Romo "elite," but he also knows that labels don't matter much once the season starts.

“It’s good to hear that for Tony, but I think for all of us, but especially Tony, you have to be able to block that out, good or bad,” Witten said Friday according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram. “Ultimately, he had a really great season last year, but at the end of the day, we didn’t make the playoffs. So we all can do more. We understand that.”

As does Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has said repeatedly that Romo isn't the problem

“I think he’s an elite quarterback, and many people have said that. I think it’s great that Amani said that,” Witten continued. “But at the end of the day, Eli’s a Super Bowl champ. He’s won two out of the last five years. They’re doing a lot of things right up there. They’re the poster boys of how you do it, not allowing adversity to get in the way.”

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CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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