When the Dallas Cowboys signed Tony Romo as an undrafted free agent rookie back in 2003, they gave him enough money to keep him around until the day would come where he would take over the offense and bring them another Super Bowl title. Maybe even several more titles.
After a couple of seasons of just holding the ball for the kickers, Tony Romo finally got his shot during Week 6 of the 2006 season against the New York Giants. He lost the game but ended up salvaging the season winning 6 of the last ten games and finishing with a 9-7 record.
The hype surrounding Tony Romo was met with high expectations and his climb to the top in Dallas meant the Cowboys were about to turn into one of the best passing offenses in the NFL. So in 2007, Tony Romo ended up passing for 4,211 yards, 36 TD, and 19 INT while also adding another 129 yards on the ground and two more TD.
But the honeymoon between the Dallas Cowboys organization and Tony Romo did not last too long. During the 2006 playoffs, the Cowboys were getting ready to attempt one of the easiest game-winning field goals imaginable when Tony Romo fumbled the snap before throwing an interception in the endzone and ending what was supposed to be an easy ticket to the next round.
That was followed by injuries causing him to miss 27 games over the last eight seasons, a 2-4 record in the postseason, and no Super Bowl appearances.
Tony Romo should not have to take all the blame for their inability to bring their game to the next level. He hasn't had the greatest of receivers during his time in Dallas. Sure, he had Terrell Owens, Miles Austin, and Dez Bryant but outside of those big three, who else?
Let's take a look at the 15 Worst Receivers Tony Romo Has Ever Had.
15 Manuel Johnson
For Cowboys fans, the 2010 season is one to forget. It was the year Tony Romo broke his left clavicle and was finished for the entire season, after only six games and a 1-5 record.
Sadly, one of the players that the Cowboys decided to waste their time and energy on would be Manuel Johnson from the University of Oklahoma.
For some reason, the Cowboys drafted the third string wide receiver for the Sooners in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft but then ended up going with Kevin Ogletree that year and sent Manuel to the practice squad. He stuck around long enough to grab one career catch for six yards in 2010 and by 2011, was waived and was finished with football.
14 Brice Butler
The Cowboys traded for Brice Butler when Dez Bryant got injured during the terrible 2015 season. It is tough to judge a man based on only two seasons in Oakland but based on his numbers, the decline in production isn't something that you can fake.
He was slowly improving in his first two seasons before being traded to Dallas where he quickly hit a decline in production during the 2015 season in which he also missed out on playing with Tony Romo in all but one game due to injuries for both players.
If he can stay healthy, and not continue to hurt his hamstring like he has done already, he does have a shot to become another one-hit wonder in the Tony Romo offense.
13 Laurent Robinson
In one season in Dallas, Laurent Robinson caught 11 touchdowns, nearly tripling his previous four season total combined. We cheated a little on this selection for one reason, this was all the Cowboys fault. They signed him for one season and he delivered but instead of resigning him during the offseason, they allowed him to walk during free agency, a big problem for the Cowboys recently.
He was never going to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame or a member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, but he was a puzzle piece you want to keep so that your offense can remain balanced and in sync. By letting him sign with Jacksonville, the Cowboys theoretically said they didn't need this guy anymore.
12 Kevin Ogletree
Kevin Ogletree played for four seasons in Dallas and did not even find the end zone until his fourth season with the Cowboys, in 2012, when he ended up replacing Laurent Robinson as the team's number three WR.
That season, among WR's, he finished with the third most targets, third most receptions, third most receiving yards, and third most receiving touchdowns. Those numbers look great if you are playing in your first or second season with a team, but not the fourth. By season four a receiver needs to be established.
In your fourth season, you should have already established yourself as a go-to guy that the QB can rely on. But Ogletree was not resigned in 2013 by Dallas making him a one-hit wonder in the NFL.
11 Sam Hurd
Statistically, Sam Hurd was nothing more than just a name on the depth chart in the Dallas Cowboys organization.
During his five seasons in Dallas, Sam caught 45 passes for 630 yards and two touchdowns. If a wide receiver in the NFL were to put those numbers up in one season, they would end up playing for many years as a career journeyman.
Yes, this is the same Sam Hurd that is now in prison serving a 15-year sentence for federal drug charges after he was caught trying to set up a massive drug ring across several states. The drugs included marijuana and cocaine. He is lucky too. He could have easily been sent to prison for life. Sam Hurd is simply another example of an NFL player with potential gone wrong.
10 Dwayne Harris
During his college career, Dwayne Harris became an amazing player for East Carolina University and finished his playing career as the school's leader in receptions with 268 and receiving yards with 3,001. He was also one of the greatest return specialist in school history finishing with the second most kickoff returns totaling 2,374 yards.
So for his entire time in Dallas, from 2011 to 2014, he was nothing more than a return man. When he finally did get into a game as a wide receiver, he did very little to earn a starting spot in Dallas. He left Dallas with a handful of return records but since we are here to talk about WR's under Tony Romo, he wasn't a good one.
Lucky for him though, the New York Giants gave him a five-year contract worth nearly $17 million with $7.1 million guaranteed.
9 John Phillips
The only TE to come onto our list is John Phillips. The sixth round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys would struggle to find a place on the Dallas roster and would suffer some setback injuries along the way.
Phillips, once thought to be a future starter would only find a place as a backup TE in Dallas and did not hook up with Tony Romo too many times. Even when Phillips was occasionally moved into the WR slot.
In the 2011 season, John Phillips would pull in 15 receptions for a grand total of 101 yards. This would turn out to be his best season in Dallas and Phillips was soon on the move. Phillips would head to San Diego then Denver where he did not fare much better.
8 Terrance Williams
During his rookie season in 2013, Terrance Williams broke several Dallas Cowboys receiving records, three to be exact. He holds the rookie records for most receiving yards in a single season, most touchdowns in a single season, and most consecutive games with a touchdown.
In Dallas, when you hit the ground running like that, the hype train goes into hyperdrive. But in his second season, although he did catch eight touchdowns, he managed to have less catches and receiving yards, sending him down the wrong direction.
Maybe it was Cole Beasley's rise to stardom or Dez Bryant's return from injury, but regardless of why his production decreased, he abilities should always be progressing, not regressing.
7 Andre Holmes
For some reason, the Cowboys have signed a ton of wide receivers over the past ten seasons with Tony Romo under center and most of them left without having much to show for it.
Andre Holmes spent most of his first season in the NFL on a practice squad. He was signed as an undrafted free agent to Minnesota's practice squad before landing a job in Dallas on theirs. He shortly moved into the active roster and stayed there for a few games in 2011 and most of 2012.
But, sadly, all he did was catch two passes for 11 yards before being released and signed by the Oakland Raiders where he plays today. In Oakland, Andre Holmes would see his best numbers come during the 2014 season where he caught 47 passes for a total of 693 yards.
6 Jesse Holley
It isn't easy being a professional starting QB for a major NFL city like Dallas so the pressure for Tony Romo to produce was extremely high. The Cowboys didn't make his life much easier when they signed Jesse Holley in 2009.
Jesse Holley won Michael Irvin's reality show 4th and Long which guaranteed him a shot at becoming a NFL WR for the Dallas Cowboys. The reality show gave the winner an invitation to attend the Dallas Cowboys training camp that season and Holley made the most of it, earning himself a contract.
After two seasons and only seven receptions for 169 yards to show for it, we were all reminded why it isn't easy playing in the NFL and reality television is far from true life. He wasn't resigned after the 2011 season.
5 Isaiah Stanback
At the University of Washington, Isaiah Stanback played QB and became a dual-threat at the position, rushing for 794 yards throughout his college career. He was not only a football star, he was a baseball player, although he never played in college, and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles during the 2006 MLB amateur draft.
However, the future wasn't at the quarterback position for Stanback, it was somewhere else on the field, possibly wide receiver. The Cowboys ended up risking it all and took him in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He was nothing more than a return man during his rookie season and in 2008 only caught two passes for 24 yards before a shoulder injury placed him on injured reserve in December of 2008. Not long after that, the Cowboys decided to waive him and cut their losses.
4 Patrick Crayton
There are many players in the NFL that are used as seat-fillers. Patrick Crayton was never a star WR in the NFL, just a man that kept earning playing time because of injuries to starters like Quincy Morgan and Terry Glenn before being replaced by Roy Williams and Miles Austin.
But the only thing that matters is that during the 2008 NFL Playoffs, Patrick Crayton had two shots at becoming a legend in silver and blue but he dropped them both. First was a long pass play that would have been a long TD catch and again at the end of the game he hesitated on a fade pass which ended up going over his head and sailed off into the sunset. No legendary status for Crayton.
3 Terrell Owens
It is difficult to justify putting Terrell Owens on this list having been one of the greatest WR in NFL history, regardless of what he did in the locker rooms. But during his time in Dallas, it wasn't just his stats that people cared about, it was his attitude and all of the controversy he brought along with him.
Especially when he got into the postseason. In the only two playoff games he played in a Cowboys uniform he managed six receptions for 75 yards and only one TD. The reason anyone signs an All-Pro offensive player is for their ability to produce in the postseason and don't ever let anyone tell you differently. So when he became nearly invisible in the playoffs, it did not take long for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to release him.
2 Devin Street
The Cowboys traded up in the 2014 NFL Draft to select Devin Street during the fifth round but managed only seven targets in 16 games. For those of you who do not understand what that means, a target is when a ball is thrown to you and it is either caught, dropped, intercepted, or out of reach. If the pass was intended for a WR, then it is considered a target. Devin spent the entire 2014 season roaming the sidelines only to have Tony Romo look his way a measly seven times?
He was passed up on the depth chart several times in his only two seasons in the silver and blue. It was almost like he never played for the Cowboys and was released earlier this year on September 3rd. He continues to bounce around the league having been signed to the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts practice squads over the course of three weeks.
1 Roy Williams
In 2004, the Detroit Lions wasted their seventh overall pick on Roy Williams, a star wideout from the University of Texas. He was a monster at 6-3, 215 lbs with a 40-yard dash time clocked at 4.36.
But after five seasons in Detroit, he never turned into the player they were hoping he would become and he was traded, along with a 2009 seventh round pick, to the Cowboys midway thru the 2008 season for their 2009 first, third, and sixth round picks. Shortly after the trade, they signed him to a six-year contract extension worth $54 million before ever having shown Dallas what he could do.
The Cowboys released him just three seasons later, in 2010, after having watched their investment fall completely off the map.