Tony Romo gets it

(Starting to write fanposts again)

At least I think he does. From a fans perspective Tony Romo has been the greatest Cowboys quarterback I've ever seen. I was not in existence during the Staubach era. And I was just born when the Cowboys won their 3rd Super Bowl of the 90's, their 5th in their storied history. I started as a fan of the Quincy Carter Cowboys with Bill Parcells as the head coach. We made the playoffs my first season as a fan, but lost to the Carolina Panthers in the divisional round. My Dad too is a Cowboys fan. He passed me down the tradition. Before the game my Dad was excited. The Cowboys haven't won a playoff game since the year I was born at the time. I was too excited, but he talked about sports and the disappointment of the game. You can't always win he said. He should of said you might never win because that describes my time as a Cowboys fan. I've stayed strong with them though. Chad Hutchinson,Vinny Testeverde, Drew Bledsoe?  These were never the answer for the Cowboys. One day NFL network reported the Cowboys signed Drew Henson. He was in the Yankees minor league system, and I guess that didn't work out to well.  I later found out he was also the starting quarterback at Michigan. His backup was Tom Brady. So I figured he was a fairly good QB. Rich Eisen read the Cowboys QB depth chart. It went like this, Bledsoe, Henson, and a man un-drafted out of  Eastern Illinois, Tony Romo. At the time I was wondering who Tony Romo was exactly. 

In 2005 Drew Henson wasn't a member of the Cowboys anymore and Romo moved up to #2 on the depth chart. Then a few weeks into the 2006 season Romo started the second half vs. the Giants. He threw for two touchdowns and also threw three interceptions. I wasn't sure, but I knew Romo was an okay QB at that point. The next week Romo was named the starter over Bledsoe. Romo was on the big stage that week vs. the Carolina Panthers. He led the team to a 35-14 victory. Right there I knew we had a franchise quarterback. The next day in school I remember telling my friends Romo was the real deal. They laughed and told me I was nuts, but I know talent when I see it. He was good. One of my good friends couldn't believe I made a call like that on the un-drafted free agent til this day. He's a great QB to this day, but in the eyes of the media something would make his career go down hill.

The Cowboys would travel to Seattle against the Seahawks. It was a great game to the very end. The Seahawks were up 21-20 with 1:19 left in the game. The Cowboys sent their field goal unit out on the field. Romo was still the place holder despite being the teams starting quarterback. I guess Drew Bledsoe couldn't swallow his pride and hold the ball. The 19 yard field goal was botched by Romo. But there was hope. Romo attempted to score the touchdown, but was tackled a yard short. That night I shed a tear in my room. I was so upset and felt terribly bad for Romo I sent a letter to the Cowboys locker room, specifically Romo. I'm not sure if he ever received the letter, but I hope he did. 

In 2007 Romo was amazing. He led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record. If it wasn't for Brady, Romo would have won MVP that year. 4200+ yards, 36 TD's, and a 6.9 TD%? Those are great numbers. Sadly I can't remember that year the way I want to. The Giants ruined the Cowboys chances at their sixth Super Bowl. Romo was blamed yet again, but I blame a few other things. The defense before the half. The Giants just drove on our defense there. And Patrick Crayton's drop. All Cowboy fans know what I'm talking about. 

Then 2008 came and I was looking forward to be a contender again. Well things don't turn out the way you like. The Cowboys went 8-8 and lost to the Eagles 44-6 on the final game of the season. It was a pathetic site where I just gave up for the next few days. I wondered why this team couldn't get anything done in December. I had a horrible picture of Romo being smashed into the ground. 

Here was a turning point for the Cowboys QB though. Romo stopped going around dating stars like Carrie Underwood and Jessica Simpson and focused on playing football. In 2009 he led the Cowboys to an 11-5 record and got back at Philadelphia. The Cowboys beat the Eagles three times that year. Including back to back times in week 17 and the wild card round of the playoffs. The streak of years without a playoff win was snapped, but the shelf that was made for Dallas' 6th Lombardi was still empty. 

Then 2010 came. What a terrible year for the Cowboys, and Romo. He was hurt in a game vs. the New York Giants after Boley was left unblocked to break Romo's clavicle. That summed up 2010 and Romo's season right there. 

Which leaves us to now. The NFL lockout is about to end and teams are going to become a unit again. Romo was married to Candace Crawford May 28th. It's a nice step in his life to settle down and now focus on his profession. You can tell Romo wants to win though. He set up the Cowboys camp this year for the team. Hopefully this means he's going to be a team leader soon. This is needed because there was rumors some of the players wanted a competition in camp between Romo and Kitna this year. This isn't going to happen. Romo has a stronger arm and is just a better player than Kitna. There's no stat for leadership. 

You can also see maturity in Romo's play. In 2009 his completion %increased about 2 points. Then a shortened year for Romo, he increased his completion % from 63.1 to 69.5. That led the NFL at the time. Romo then shows maturity with the eye ball test. Earlier in his career he would scramble around looking to make plays. He now thinks about what he's going to do with the ball, and if there isn't a play there he'll check it down or just throw it away. In some situations he'll just tuck the ball and run or take the sack. You can also look in the numbers too. His INT% went from 3.1 in 2008 t0 1.6 in 2009. 2010 it rose to 3.1, but I can tell you there were INT's that weren't his fault. Many of his INT's were tipped balls. 

Romo's acting more like a leader out there on the field. This should be a big plus to the Cowboys in 2011. I'd like to see how Garrett uses Romo in his pass happy system as the head coach. I'm sure it will be a little different from when he was the offensive cord. Romo gets it, it's about winning.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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