Back in February, just days after silencing the organization, Jerry Jones was the first to use the term Romo-friendly.
"I think being as Romo-friendly as our team can be. Romo friendly means let's utilize his skills to the fullest and make sure everything we do maximizes his abilities."
I interpreted Romo-friendly as meaning the Cowboys would run a more simplified offense, with emphasis on the running game and high percentage passes. This would help Tony cut down on his improvisation and minimize his turnovers. This type offense should also take pressure off Romo and hopefully make it easier for him to make better decisions. That was my interpretation. Perhaps I was oversimplifying things.
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Todd Archer of the DMN reported that Jones issued the gag order (2/22/09) because JJ was angry that ‘sources' had reported a debate between himself and Stephen Jones on TO's future and a subsequent visit to Jerry's home by certain players to discuss personnel. Jones felt the reports were inaccurate and gagged everyone but himself.
Assuming the Archer report has validity, isn't it also safe to assume that the offensive leader (Romo) of the team was one of the players visiting Jerry Jones' Highland Park home to discuss personnel? The next week, after Jones' made the Romo-friendly remark, TO was cut. Did Romo want TO gone? Was this Tony's initial step toward team leadership? I thought he and TO were tight.
I guess I'm naïve. At the end of 2007 I remember a tearful Owens defending Romo on TV. Later there was Witten, TO and Romo clowning around together after a game, making fun of the media reports of bad chemistry. I heard the reports that first Witten was the ‘source' who was anti-TO and I was relieved when that rumor morphed into Brad Johnson as the ‘rat'. Romo was never mentioned in negative terms until recently.
The current story has TO twittering that Romo and Garrett were the ones behind his release. Based on the Archer report I think there may be something to that. Apparently Romo-friendly also means that this is Tony's team and if you want to play here, you better get along with Romo. It's his team now. That's a good thing for Tony, if the Cowboys do well.
When you consider the two playoff losses, his multimillion-dollar contract and perhaps his influence in having TO removed from the team - the pressure is on him to win now. The team has built around Tony Romo. If the offense doesn't hit on all cylinders this year the only thing in Texas that will be Romo-friendly will be Jessica Simpson.