Tony Romo, #9 undrafted free agent out of Eastern Illinois. Has there ever been a football player that sparked such controversy amongst football fans? It’s hard to argue that any other player caused so much emotion between fans when the topic came up. There was no in between with this guy, you was either a Romo supporter or he was the worst quaterback in the league. Romo is great! Romo has no help! Romo sucks, here comes another INT! Regardless of your opinion of the player the guy could straight up ball. For my whole adult life Tony Romo was the quaterback of my Dallas Cowboys. Which meant come hell or high water I had his back. That was the loyalty I had for my team. Did I see his flaws? Of course. Did he break my heart? Absolutely. But year after year I supported the guy for reasons only known by the silver and blue fans.
Romo was the center piece of the franchise for over a decade, Cowboys records in almost every category imaginable but we could never get over the hump. From the debacle in Seattle to the Giants stealing OUR Super Bowl in 2007 his reputation only grew bigger. 8-8. Freaking 8-8. I couldn’t sleep. That’s the only thing I could see in my head was every season ending with that record. Season finale on NBC. Cowboys would play a division rival last night of the season for that playoff birth. Nope. Loss. 8-8. Romo would be in the center of some controversy that lead to the loss and another disappointing season. Yet for some crazy reason I continued to support him. Now that years have passed I realize that I wasn’t defending Romo. I was defending the state of the franchise. Romo covered up so many warts of our team. 8-8 was overachieving if you honestly look back. I was arguing about Romo as a player but deep down I was defending the star from embarrassment. Without Romo 8-8 would of been 4-12 or 6-10. Love him or hate him he kept our Cowboys relevant.
The 2014 season. For whatever reason things clicked. It worked. The team was a juggernaut and Tony Romo’s play was at the peak of his powers. With a dominant run game he could pick D’s apart like only he could at times. The amazing escape artist he was in Seattle when he hit T-Will or when he shook JJ Watt out of his boots our guy was killing it. We finished the season as playoff team NOBODY wanted to play. Come from behind victory against Detroit lead by Romo everyone was on a high. Then Lambeu field. Aaron freaking Rodgers. Romo came to play. Everyone knows the play. Game on the line. He could of played it safe but we know the outcome. The season ended there. I was at peace. Yea Romo would play more games, more injuries but to me his career ended there. 2015 the injuries hit him hard. Philly shocked us all. If he could find a way back and if we could sneak into the playoffs maybe just maybe. But no. Thanksgiving day he was injured once again. I was done. As he laid there while the camera hovered above I was at peace with it all. Romo had given his body for this franchise and I could never repay him for that. Body mind and soul he left out on that football field and I will forever be in debt to him for that. He represented the star so well. Love or hate(his game) he was a great leader for our franchise.
2016. We all know the story. Dakota Rayne Prescott took the NFL by storm. Will Romo return? No. It took a man to do what he did. Numerous pro bowl player, held so many Cowboys records. Led the team for a decade plus. But he stepped aside and let the magic happen. Not sure I could have. Pride as an athlete would of overtaken me. But it didn’t for Romo and I respect him even more for that. So many ups and downs. A career to remember. So often that #9 jersey would get scrunched in a way it would resemble the 8 worn by Troy Aikman. But he wasn’t Troy. He was Romo. Often so good but no quite great. HOF? Probably not. Ring of honor? I hope so. I hope he returns to the franchise in years to come. He deserves to be Cowboy for the rest of his life. A legend to me. I will flip the channel over the CBS every now and then to support your commentary as every Cowboys fan should. Thank you Tony Romo.