Throughout the course of the next few days, we’re going to watch the support and appreciation for Tony Romo skyrocket and he deserves that. For a decade, he was the best thing the Cowboys had and perhaps the biggest contributor to keeping the team relevant. Tony Romo really was the consummate professional and the guy you wanted to lead you into battle.
Now that he’s retiring, we need to put the offseason saga out of sight and out of mind. In the social media driven world that we live in being right and first have two different values. When it was prematurely decided that Tony Romo would be released on March 9th, it caused a flurry of activity that was all due to lack of confirmation. Tony Romo had value and the Cowboys saw that. However, what the rest of the NFL just showed is that he didn't have much value to them.
We've always known that Jerry Jones is a shoot-from-the-hip type of Cowboy but he also has an enormous heart as is seen with his relationship with his players. Tony Romo is perhaps another son to Jerry Jones and what has occurred over the past few weeks won't change that. The Cowboys still won with Tony though they didn't acquire another draft pick out of it.
Father time is undefeated and at 37 years old when the season begins, Tony Romo was facing a reality. The reality is that a broken finger in 2008, broken clavicle in 2010, broken ribs and punctured lung in 2011, back surgery of 2013, broken back and ribs in 2014, broken clavicle (twice) in 2015, and compression fracture of 2016 have taken their toll on the man. Can he play? You bet your shorts he can, his skills most definitely weren't in decline on pace with his body.
So, the Cowboys will grant Tony Romo his release as he plans on taking the top CBS gig with Jim Nance for NFL Sundays. They won't continue to hold his rights should he feel that itch to give it a go one more time. You may be saying how did the Cowboys win if they caved when he chose to retire? They don't have a pick to show for it, they don't have his rights should he return? Well, they won by giving Romo the necessary time to decide what was best.
Jerry Jones and the front office took the brunt of the criticism from beat writers from Denver to Houston. They took the lashings from media types that wanted to see the former face of the franchise in another uniform. All those guys that pre-wrote their columns on March 8th may have a bit of an ax to grind as they waited for an absolution that didn't come for weeks. The Cowboys did "do right" after all and they allowed their hero to make his own decision.
The "rift" that never was actually never really made much sense. You can talk all you want about the potential heat between Jason Garrett and Tony Romo but I bet you that will be resolved at some point too. The Cowboys did what Tony Romo did his entire career, they sat back in the pocket while getting blitzed and delivered a first down. They did that because in this world of "gimme now", the Cowboys showed resolve and patience.
Deciding whether he wanted to continue to compete for another team or retire was not entirely his decision. It concerned his wife, who has another child on the way with two young, beautiful boys already. It was also his quality of life that made this decision. It's hard to watch your body fall apart when you still have the mind and skill to perform. It may be even harder for the people you love to watch you writhing in pain on the 50-yard line wondering if you'll get back up.
The Houston Texans and the Denver Broncos don't matter because they showed they didn't value Romo enough to offer a late-round pick to find out. Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, Will McClay, and Jason Garrett said "hey Tony, it's not us who don't value you. We love you." It says more about the franchises that are about to roll out with Trevor Siemian and Tom Savage as their leaders. Don't sweat it, Houston. There's always Brandon Weeden behind him. On second thought, Houston we may have a problem.
The Cowboys valued Tony Romo in every bit of the $127+ million they have paid him over the past 14 seasons. He walks away from Dallas the Stat King in almost every category except the "hardware" to show for it. It's not entirely his fault that his career didn't bring a title back to the Cowboys. However, his stepping aside to allow the "new" Cowboys led by younger stars to take over may be perhaps the most unselfish thing anyone could do. If this team does one day win the Lombardi with this nucleus of players, we'll certainly need to revisit the day Romo stepped aside and put it into motion.
.The Cowboys made no mistake in between their love for their former signal-caller and the business side of the NFL. There was no "rift" in the front office, no public humiliations, no real "awkwardness" at all. It was just a case of canvassing the areas, polling the options, and doing what's best for one another. There are only two winners, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. Everyone and everything else is all speculation or, more importantly, insignificant and irrelevant.