The story line has become tired, but when a four-time Super Bowl champion questions the dynamic of an NFL franchise, it bears fleshing out. The original Romo, linebacker Bill Romanowski, spoke to 106.7 The Fan Wednesday morning about a number of topics, including the end of the Mike Shanahan era with the Washington Redskins.
Romanowski won four rings as a hard-hitting linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos and played under Shanahan. Few would consider Romo a class act, he was known to be a dirty player with incidents and accusations of spitting on other players and punching teammates littered throughout his NFL resume. Yet, Romanowski was on a lot of winning teams, and knows what winning football requires.
"Mike Shanahan is a proven winner," Romanowksi said of the former Redskins coach.
"You got to give him the reins and let him control the ship. But when you got an owner that wants to control the ship, things change. Dynamics change. When you do that I don’t think it’s a recipe for success."
But Shanahan had complete control of the football operations in Washington, the radio hosts replied, and Redskins owner Dan Snyder stayed out the way. Romo dismissed that idea.
"You can't say that. When the qaurterback is going out with the owner, you’ve got problems. Those kind of things don’t work."
"The head coach has got to have the sledgehammer and be able to set the rules," Romanowski said. "The proof is in the pudding, the dynamics didn’t work."
Much criticism has flowed towards Snyder for his relationship with Robert Griffin III, and Romanowski was asked what type of relationship John Elway had with ownership during their time in Denver.
"He had a better relationship with the head coach," Romanowski said of Elway and those late 90s Broncos Super Bowl teams. "[Broncos owner] Pat Bowlen let Mike Shanahan run the football team. Period. He did not meddle at all in what was going on day to day."
The 2013 season likely would have gone better if the Redskins started Kirk Cousins early in the season and brought RG3 in later in the year, giving his knee time to heal, according to Romanowski.
"I think the program was going in the right direction," Romo said of the Redskins prior to Griffin's knee injury.
"I think Kirk Cousins would have been a better pick for them this past year," he said.