Last offseason, when the Cowboys went on a purge of their roster, dumping salaries and players that no longer fit with the direction the organization wanted to go, some players I admired were shown the door. I wasn't against the decision of cutting these players, but it's hard to see someone go that always seemed to put in 100% effort, and was kind of an enforcer. That guy was right tackle Marc Colombo. He ended up playing last year in Miami, and now he's signed a ceremonial contract with Dallas so he can retire wearing the star.
Colombo was rescued from the NFL scrap heap by Bill Parcells. Colombo was a first-round draft pick out of Boston College by the Chicago Bears in 2002, but never made a huge impact there because of a knee injury. The Cowboys picked him up mid-season of 2005 and he took over the right tackle spot starting in 2006.
Colombo flourished in Dallas and finally gave the Cowboys a decent answer at right tackle after years of misfires at the position. Unfortunately, Colombo broke his leg in the middle of the 2009 season. After returning for the playoffs, he had a terrible day against the Vikings, something no Cowboys fan wants to remember. Age and injury finally caught up to Colombo and his play declined, leading to his release last offseason.
What I do want to remember him for was his service in Dallas, and those good years he provided us at right tackle.
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But I think what I liked most about him was his toughness. Whenever there was a scrum on the field involving the Cowboys offense, you could be sure Colombo would be in the middle of it. If anybody went after a Cowboys teammate, especially Tony Romo, Colombo was the man who would step up and put and end to it. Ask DeAngelo Hall.
And who can forget Colombo, Leonard Davis and Cory Procter in the metal band Free Reign?
Here's what Colombo had to say about retiring a Cowboy.
"My time here was the majority of my career," said Colombo, who joined the team in 2005 and was the starting right tackle from 2006-10. "I feel like this place made me the football player I always wanted to be. It’s just an amazing place with an unbelievable owner. To be able to play at other places you realize there’s nothing like being a Cowboy."
"I think getting away for a year was a good thing because it made me realize how fortunate I was to play as long as I did with the Cowboys. To come back in and meet with Mr. Jones, it was really humbling. He’s a great owner and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. He’s always treated me well. I just think being able to retire as a Dallas Cowboy is something I always envisioned after I’d been here for a few years. We’re living here now. The fan support has been great and I’d just like to thank everybody."
Thank you, Marc Colombo.