This video reminds me of the old Boyz II Men song, “End of the Road.”  I have never in my life seen a professional athlete, let alone an NFL player, be so emotionally vulnerable.  Romo’s brutal, honest assessment of the situation and passing of the baton to Dak Prescott was truly something special.

One of the most amazing things about this presser was the sincerity.  When he says he is happy for the team’s success, you know he’s telling you the truth.  This is all he’s wanted for 10 years.  It is almost like a Greek tragedy the way things have gone.

Injured and rushed back only to be hurt again.  Watching your team crumble without you.  Working your tail off to get back in shape, ready to lead the “best team” you’ve ever played with.  Injured again, this time before even taking a regular season snap.  All the chatter about your brittle body.  The fear that this team will crumble again.

You watch as your team loses another close game without you to start the season.  Visions of why you had the 4th pick dance through your head.  Then they win the next game.  And the next.  A few weeks later they pass last season’s win total.  You’re excited. Everyone keeps saying, “It’s Tony’s team!”  You’re itching to get back out there.  They don’t want to rush you.  They need you healthy.

dal2Then they keep winning.  The smiles become harder, more forced. That pride is there, but so is the fire.  It burns inside you, but there’s nothing you can do.  8 games in a row.  For a rookie.  Drafted in the 4th round.  Your successor, a few years from now, has done the damn near impossible.  It’s over.  You’re no longer the quarterback for America’s Team.  The only way it gets worse is if they win the big one without you leading them.

Being the man he is, the ultimate team player that he is, he couldn’t let this become more of a distraction than it needed to be.  He did what, as far as I can remember, no one else has ever done.  Manning damn sure didn’t do it.  Neither did Montana, Aikman, Marino, Bradshaw, Elway or Unitas.  The most painful part for me will be waiting on pins and needles after the season to see what happens.

Will Romo retire and immediately join the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff?  Will Dallas trade or release him, giving him a chance to go out like Manning?  Will he stay in Dallas, backing up Dak and guiding the young quarterback the best he can?  Will he go into the booth and become one of the best announcers out there?  What will he do?

It would devastate me to see #9 wearing anything other than a Cowboys uniform.  It would be a betrayal not felt since Emmitt became a Cardinal.  Or when Mark Grace was a Diamondback.  I would feel happy for him, still being out there every week (if he’s healthy), especially if he won a Super Bowl.  To me personally, no other player ever deserved to win one more than Romo.  No matter how great he has been, no matter how impressive his stats, no matter how inspiring he is as a person there are those who will never see him as a Hall of Famer.  One ring would change that.  I truly hope he gets it because he deserves to be there.

romoIf there were an award for the classiest person in sports, Tony Romo would win hands down.  If there were an award for biggest team player, he would win that one as well.  Sadly, there’s not.  At the most important position in the game, on arguably the most important team (at least financially and ratings wise) the only award that matters is the Super Bowl.

So, has time passed him by?  Or has the Tony Romo era just ended in Dallas?  Only time will tell…