Allow me to start this by saying I LOVE Tony Romo. I have spent 10 years extolling his virtues and defending him from uneducated fans and Dallas haters. I can feel you shaking your head saying, “Romo sucks!”
Sadly, in the salary cap era of the NFL (which I despise, BTW) there is no loyalty. You can’t let a great retire with your team no matter what they’ve done for you if there is someone cheaper out there. It happened to the career rushing leader, it happened to the Cowboys season rushing leader, it will happen to Romo. Romo Bledsoed Beldsoe after Brady and now Dak will Bledsoe Romo. Who knows, in 10 years they may call it getting Romod (maybe Romo’d because it looks better).
First, let’s take a look at some numbers:Tony Romo has the 4th highest career completion rate of any QB in NFL history. He has the 3rd highest passer rating EVER. In the 4th quarter it’s the highest in NFL history. He’s led more 4th quarter comebacks since 2006 than any other NFL quarterback. He also has the most game winning drive of any active QB. That list includes Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Eli, Rivers and Russell Wilson. He has led his team to the playoffs 40% of the time. Three more times Dallas was playing the final game of the season to get in and just fell short.
There’s no denying that when healthy Romo is a top 10 QB. To be honest he’s probably a top 3 QB. The key to that is WHEN HE’S HEALTHY. His injuries in the past have been overblown. He had missed 27 games in 10 years. 22 of those came during 2010 and 2015 when he broke his collarbone. That’s 5 games in the other 8 years. From 2011 to 2014 he only missed two games. Two. For comparison, Aikman only had 3 full seasons out of 12.
The problem is this is the 2nd season in a row he has missed significant time. You know what’s worse? After the hit that sidelined him this year he said that he was happy it happened. He was happy to know he could take a hit and his back would hold up. The next day it was evident that wasn’t the case. He has become Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Unbreakable. He’s the man of glass.
On the bright side, if the Cowboys do put Romo back into the starter role when he returns it might only be a few quarters at this point before Dak is back.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure I was extremely disappointed when Dallas drafted Dak. Leading up to the draft I really thought we would get Goff or Wentz at number 4. Then LA traded up. No problem, Wentz would still be there at 4. In swoops Philly.
When Lynch was still sitting there I prayed for Dallas to trade back into the 1st round. When they tried and failed I cursed Jerry Jones. Then Cook, but we failed again! With the 135th pick in the 2016 draft we took Dak, who many had projected Dallas to take as a project. A PROJECT?!?! After 2015 the last thing Dallas needed was a project at QB.
I was still optimistic and excited for 2016. This was the year Romo would finally get a ring! Then we would have a year or two to draft a real QB for the future!
When Kellen Moore was hurt in training camp I was worried. Hell, even after Dak’s first preseason game I still wasn’t completely sold. I predicted 4-12 if Romo was hurt. I was wrong. I’m all for the Dak Attack now! DAK’S what I’m talking about! QB rating over 100. Almost 70% completions. Record for most passes before an interception.
For me this is a happy and sad time. I really expected Romo to have a few more years. He’s so humble and fun to watch. He was also the first Cowboy’s QB to win in Green Bay. Dak’s the second now. That makes me happy, optimistic for the future. I remember the misery that was the turn of the century. You can too by clicking here.
Why then am I sad? Because this was really Romo’s year! With the running back stable of Zeke, McFadden and Morris we would pound the ball, like we have been, just like 2014. In my head that would keep Romo healthy and make Dallas a powerhouse. This was our year!
I still think it is our year. I just think that Dallas will finally win a Super Bowl this year. I also think Romo will be on the sidelines for that game. His starting days in Dallas long gone. Maybe you even bring him in for the 4th quarter. Let him be a part of winning it all. The victory will be bittersweet, but he can then ride off into the sunset a champion. A bittersweet goodbye to one of the best of his generation.
Romo is as smart as they come at the game of football. Work out an exit that sees him transition to a coach for the team. Work him up to offensive coordinator and DO NOT EVER LET HIM GO!
Don’t make the same mistakes we did with Sean Payton. Get a few years under Romo’s belt and then drop Jason Garrett. If you drop Jimmy Johnson after two Superbowl Wins you can easily drop Garrett for anything on Earth. Let Romo be a Cowboy for life, just in a different way.