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The story of a gunslinger: Living on a wing and a prayer

 

Hello BTB friends!!! I have quietly admired & enjoyed this site for years, finally venturing to add a comment. Unfortunately it coincides with the greatest debacle in Cowboys history. After the jets game, I wrote the following email/commentary on Tony Romo with a few friends:   I was so pissed at Romo for those 2 boneheaded plays it took me 3 days to cool off. Then I realized why I was so upset! I truly believed that with maturity he could become an elite QB [ala Staubach or atleast Aikman] but a 9 year veteran and 6 year starter is still the same guy [Danny White at best but more likely our version of Donovan McNabb]. Extremely talented, has all of the tools but presses in the "really big" moments. Before anyone jumps in with his 4th QTR comebacks and all, he has not done it in the "really really big games" when it counts. He is currently the 4th best quarterback of all time (stats wise) in the regular season and 104th in the post-season. That say's it all. As I read the blogs and press, I think Cowboys Nation is coming to the same conclusion.

 

 

I do believe he is the best person for the job right now and without him we would be in even worse shape (Quincy Carter anyone), but he will not lead us to the promise land. He will be an extremely talented bus driver on a really talented (or lucky) team that reaches the SB as a team (no QB heroics). I do not think he can lead us to multiple SB's. In fact, now I am certian that if you put Romo on the Boys of the 70's, 0 SB's. If you put Romo on the Boys of the 90's, maybe 1 SB (not 3 in 4). He is truly a Brett Farve clone, will not win the big one without a super talented team that he can ride to glory. He is no Staubach or Aikman who had the gift of leadership to guide talented teams to multiple superbowls. I really would not care that much if this was Bledsoe or some other guy, but Romo has the talent to be a Staubach or Aikman, he just does not have the maturity or leadership qualities.

Situational Awareness is one of the biggest qualities of a leader and that is his weakness. The trip to Cabo during the bye, his continued "public" focus on golf, very public personal life, etc....are signs that he does not get it. Optics are everything!!! Even if you took your playbook with you and had film sessions in Cabo the optics are bad. When you have that reputation, don't pursue your outside passions so publically, the optics are bad. We as humans look to our leaders (in any setting) to set the tone. We feed off how they do things or we perceive they handle and do things conciously and sub-consciously. He is viewed as not caring, not being serious, not willing to make the sacrifices required, that winning a SB is not the most important thing in the world, that spending your entire off-season preparing to win a SB is not the most important thing to do. His play reflects that lack of focus. The mistakes are due to that lack of focus and situational awareness. Yes, he is a hero for playing with pain and being hurt, but he also does not have the work ethic to improve his leadership skils, situational awareness and focus. We always heard about Aikman's offseason workouts. I bet you that Jimmy Johnson (the master of psychology) set it up that way so that other members of the team got the right messages. When they slacked off under Switzer, they failed to meet lofty expectations. That team should have won 5 straight or atleast a couple more SB's but failed when the culture went from an extremely demanding work ethic to lazy. As a side note, the leadership abilities of Aikman and Irving and the carry-over of some of the old culture got them 1 more SB under the lazy Switzer regime otherwise it would have stopped at 2.

Now that we know who he really is and probably will never become I have decided to lower my expectations and just enjoy football. Maybe Red builds the culture & environment Landry and JJ created and we win a SB or even multiples and if we are really lucky Romo gets it at the tail end of his career like Elway and stops being a gunslinger because he believes in the team's ability to be successful and his role as a member of the team, but I just do not have hope in him right now. I believe we need to find the next great Cowboys QB while we ride out a couple of solid competitive years with Romo.

Dr. Jeckyl is Tony Romo the extremely talented, fun loving, free spririted gunslinger who can do majical things with the footbal and will break every cowboys record and many NFL records when its all said and done, but Mr. Hyde or Tony Ohno is the ugly monster inside that does not understand his role, does not abide by the 7 or 11 rules for success layed out by Bill Parcells, does not really understand what leadership means, does not have situational awareness and is the "selfish" gunslinger that makes "bone headed" plays at the worst times. He is what he is, we in Cowboys nation will have to live and die with him and pray that the stars align, or Red can build a great team around TR and he stops being the gunslinger and becomes the extremely talented [team player] bus driver that is the leader of a SB Champion.

Also, ala the Green Bay Packers we must pray & hope that JJ & Red undestand that the Cowboys must execute a dual-prong strategy going forward, build the great team around the gunslinger and convert him into the extremely talented [team player] bus driver (ala Elway or Farve) while simultaneously beginning an earnest search for his replacement. Thanks for letting me share some thoughts and being part of the best community of bloggers I have ever seen.  After this I to will become a gunslinger [fan] myself and ride on a wing and a prayer!!! 

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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