Tony Romo, the gunslinger gets another shot at redemption.
Tony Romo and his beautiful wife Candice recently brought a child into the world. Their 8 pound, 8 ounce baby boy was born this past Monday. I will remember his birthday for the rest of my life because mine is right before his, April 7. Aries are strong and bold individuals, so I expect Hawkins to be just like his daddy. Having a child may change Romo as a man, but hopefully it doesn't change the way he plays quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.
I want to send some love to the Romo family. Best of luck with your new baby boy, pamper him and love him. I am not a father, so I really don't know what it feels like to go through that life changing event, but it must be dramatic and emotional. Romo recently let loose about being a father.
"It’s been fantastic," Romo told the Ben and Skin Show on [KESN-FM] 103.3 in Dallas on Thursday. "You hear about it from you family and friends but until you experience it, you really can’t put into words how it makes you feel. It’s just one of those things that for me, you can just tell that there’s a God. It just really shows you all the complexities of it. There’s such a sense of responsibility that it just overwhelms you. It’s been a really, really great week. I’m one of those proud papas already."
Our very own KD Drummond also recently had a baby boy, so let's take a minute to congratulate him again on his little bundle of joy.
Romo's NFL career has been an up and down affair. He entered this league as a nobody with something to prove. Over the years in Dallas, Tony has performed at a high level. In between that there have been some gut-wrenching losses and mistakes. His skill set makes him such a unique quarterback, and in my opinion, he is one of the more exciting players in the NFL to watch on a weekly basis.
Romo will turn 32 years old on April 21, which also happens to be another Aries, go figure. We have watched him literally grow up in front of our eyes. The kid from Eastern Illinois is no longer a kid, he is a man with a family. He has taken some incredibly devastating hits on the football field and suffered tough injuries because of them. The best part about a new season is a fresh start, the slate gets wiped clean. He will get another shot at redemption, one more shot at a title.
What will the 2012 season be for Tony Romo? Take the jump for more...
The Gift And The Curse
One of his most admirable qualities as a football player is that he has the ability to create. It's no surprise that Romo was a great point guard in high school. He has the uncanny ability to create opportunities and big plays. This has been something we have become accustomed to ever since he took the starting job away from Drew Bledsoe in the 2006 season.
When plays break down and everything falls apart, Romo plays some of his best football. I honestly cannot remember a quarterback who was so good at that. His point guard ability comes in the form of spin moves that are really amazing feats of athleticism. Dodging a pass rusher the way he does, then completing a pass gives me a rush of adrenaline when watching the play live.
Because he can move around in the pocket, Romo finds ways to extend plays a lot longer. When he is playing at his best, he finds ways to turn plays that should have resulted in a sack, into a huge gain. I have to imagine the type of magic Romo is capable of must motivate his teammates to want to play harder, and drive the defense insane.
This is what I call the Spiderman effect, "the gift and the curse". What makes Spiderman such a great superhero, also makes Peter Parker vulnerable as a regular person. The same can be said for Tony Romo, what makes him great is also his downfall.
That is why it can be so frustrating to watch him play. One minute he looks like one of the best quarterbacks in the league, then on one play he can throw everything good away. We saw this in the 2011 season opener against the Jets, where he played some of the best football I have seen from him. Then on two plays where he was trying to do too much, everything went wrong. The reason I am so hard on Romo for those one or two plays is because I know how good he can be. It is extremely frustrating to watch him shred opposing defenses for basically the entire game, but nearly give the game away in one or two bad plays.
The only thing I can say is, take the good with the bad. No matter how hard he tries, Romo is going to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect in life, especially in the game of football. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers made costly mistakes that cost their teams games last year. The argument can be made that they have Super Bowl rings to back their mistakes up, but I still believe Tony Romo is far from the problem in Dallas. Is he a gunslinger? Yes, he can be, but he has done a remarkable job of cutting down on his mistakes.
Like A Fine Wine, He Just Keeps Getting Better
We hear the term, "late bloomer" often. Romo falls under that category because he continues to improve as a quarterback. Maybe he just developed further down the road because of where he went to college, or his body just matured at an older age. For whatever reason, his trajectory as a quarterback continues to point upward. You could describe him as a "young" 31 years old because for the early part of his career, he was the #3 quarterback. Due to the inactivity as a young quarterback, he may have more left in the tank compared to other 31 year old quarterbacks.
Every offseason, he secretly works on something he noticed on game tape that bothered him. I don't know what he will be working on this offseason, but previously we have seen him work on his footwork and play fakes. Romo's ability to draw the defense in with the draw is pretty amazing. I wish the media would give him more credit for his quick pump-fake too. Recently he touched on the subject of improving.
"When I look at just myself, it's about how can I improve? How can I get better? How can I bring my teammates along with me? How can they get better and our football team can take that next step? We're doing some things that I think will allow us to do that. I feel good about some of the stuff that we've got going on. I think we're going to be an improved football team next year."
Take a look at some of his career numbers, which are pretty amazing for a quarterback who was an UDFA.
- 96.9 career passer rating (2nd all-time)
- 64.5 career completion percentage (6th all-time)
- 20,834 career passing yards
- 149 TD to 72 INT
- 8.0 career yards per pass attempt (5th all-time)
- 13 fourth quarter comebacks
- 14 career game-winning drives
He is 48-33 as the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, which is a shame. The offensive line and defense contributed to many of those losses. Of course Romo gets blame for a lot of them, which he should because the quarterback is always judged by wins and losses. But if the Cowboys could ever finish building the offensive line, protecting Romo would take this team to the next level. It wouldn't hurt if the defense could actually win a game here or there as well. The quarterback has to do a lot, but some help along the way would be nice.
The Window Is Closing....Fast
Tony is a guy I just want to see succeed because of just how much he cares about winning and losing. After losses you can see just how hard he takes them. I hate watching him stand up at the podium and answer the press conference questions dejected after a loss. This season I want to see that changed, I want to see him exuberant because we won a football game.
Basically, that is what the near future all comes down to, winning. The window is beginning to shut on the Dallas Cowboys. Their best chance was back in 2007 when they went 13-3, but folded in the second half against the Giants at home. Now it is 2012, nearly five years later. This team has changed so much on paper since the 2007 run, and the time to win our sixth Super Bowl may be coming to a close.
Eventually the core of this team will begin to age and break down. For just how much longer can we rely on Tony Romo, Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware? Romo understands the importance of winning a Super Bowl and how quarterbacks will always be judged by how many rings they have won.
"The Super Bowl is obviously the biggest team accomplishment, and also as a quarterback, it's what we're defined as," Romo said. "I think for me that would be the one obvious (thing) that you play the game for. All the hours and the sweat and the time that you do and those tough moments when I'm alone doing what I do, that's what you think about.
"You don't rest until you feel that accomplishment. For me, that's always going to be there. That's going to be a very singular-driven focus. That's the way I am, and that's the way it's going to be until that happens. That's the way I'd like to be remembered."
Will anyone ever forget Tony Romo? Not likely, he will be remembered in one way or another. Even if he never wins a Super Bowl, I will remember him for his contributions on and off the field. Romo is the total RKG, and someone I will root for every time he suits up in a Cowboys uniform. I really cannot remember wanting to see a player win a championship so badly, seriously I really want to see this man succeed. So many people love to see him fail, which truly bothers me as a fan of good football, not just a Cowboys fan.
His career has been a Greek tragedy so far that includes only one playoff win. Will 2012 be the year he finally delivers the big one for the Cowboys? I can't answer that question, but I can say that #9 will be giving everything he has on that field. Win or lose, I know I am thankful for Tony Romo. He deserves another chance to make things right, thank God for another season to get his redemption.