Mason Rudolph Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) calls a play in the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills in a 2024 AFC wild card game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Romo was in rare form during Monday’s Buffalo Bills-Piitsburgh Steelers AFC Wild-Card round playoff game.

It didn’t take long for Romo to wax poetic about… Mason Rudolph?

Jim Nantz set up his colleague and partner, mentioning that Romo had watched the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback in warm-ups. And Romo went on to sign Rudolph’s praises, and probably more than Nantz expected; the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback compared Rudolph’s career trajectory to that of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith and said he was impressed with the “archtype” of his career.

“Well, I’m really impressed with the archetype of his career,” Romo said. “You know you expect him to be a career backup, and he hadn’t been very successful, and they put him in, and they’re riding the hot hand right now. But to me, he has developed. It’s an archetype like Geno Smith in Seattle. He is for real, Jim. He’s led the NFL the last three weeks in multiple categories; this will be the biggest test of his career today.”

While Rudolph is certainly deserving of praise for how he’s performed since stepping into the starting lineup for an injured Kenny Pickett and then a struggling Mitchell Trubisky, we’re not quite sure that “archetype” is the word that Romo is thinking of. First of all, he mispronounced the word in question and did so twice.

More importantly here, he incorrectly applied the term “archetype” to Rudolph’s career trajectory. An archetype is a universal or typical pattern often associated with mythology or literature. It doesn’t quite fit the context of a journeyman quarterback exceeding expectations.

In the heat of the moment and amidst his newfound admiration for Rudolph, Romo might have simply chosen the wrong word to express his strong opinion. His enthusiasm overshadowding technical accuracy.

While we can quibble over what Romo meant to say, it wasn’t even the most egregious thing that came out of his mouth. Saying that Rudolph is “for real” after three starts in which he’s looked like a serviceable NFL backup is just insane. Prior to his recent surge, Rudolph’s career has primarily been defined as a backup with inconsistent playing time and mixed results. Everything else suggests that we should fuel skepticism toward Romo’s grand pronouncement.

And not to pile on, but Rudolph didn’t exactly look like he was “for real” on Monday.

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.