It's been more than a week since Tony Romo announced his retirement, and the tributes in his honor have been plenty. There have been tributes from fans, from his teammates, from the Dallas Cowboys organization, and even the Dallas Mavericks have paid tribute to Tony Romo. While it may be a bit late to the party, this is my little tribute to one of my favorite Cowboys ever, and the QB I watched growing up.
Here's to you Tony, thank you for the memories!
There were more moments I wanted to include in the list, but left out, so make sure to comment with your favorite Tony Romo moments. Here are mine, I hope you enjoy them, #CowboysNation.
#10 The J.J. Watt Spin
I mention this spin specifically because it was against one of the greatest defensive players of all-time.
On second down and four to go, Tony Romo snapped the ball. J.J. Watt did something few can by bullying Tyron Smith with a speed rush to get to number 9. Romo, with Watt just a few steps way, executed a perfect spin.
Watt ended up on the ground while Romo threw a 43-yard TD pass to Terrance Williams. This is an honorable mention to Tony Romo's signature spin move. While there were many, this might have been the best one.
#9 Fighting for 4 Yards
"Wow, what a four yard run!"
That's something you don't hear every Sunday. But if you watched the Dallas Cowboys play the then St. Louis Rams in 2007, you probably said something similar.
After a high snap on third and three, Romo chased the ball 30 yards behind the line of scrimmage (he kicked the ball, too).
When he finally picked it up he managed to get back to the line of scrimmage and four more yards, including the first down.
We all knew
Superman Tony Romo was in the house.
#8 Breaking the Cowboys' All-Time Passing Yards Record
When the Cowboys played the Indianapolis Colts in 2014, they had fun and secured the NFC East title by beating the Colts 42-7.
But Tony Romo was on fire that day. He ended the day with four touchdowns and a new Cowboys franchise record. He became the QB with the most passing yards in the history of the franchise.
While maybe it wasn't one of the most exciting games in Romo's career, I loved this moment. He broke the record by throwing a 25-yard TD pass to Jason Witten... my two favorite Cowboys making history.
#7 His Last Comeback
Week 1, 2015: Sunday Night versus the New York Giants.
The Cowboys started off with a couple of turnovers; Dez Bryant went down injured and Dallas was facing adversity. With the score at 26-20, 1:29 on the clock with no timeouts, Tony Romo settled in and drove Dallas down the field.
With under 15 seconds to go, on third and two from the 11 yard line, the Cowboys snapped the ball. After dropping the ball and picking it up, he threw the TD pass to Jason Witten and won the game.
We never expected that game would become Tony Romo's last comeback win in his career.
#6 One Last Drive
I can't remember being as excited about a meaningless game as I was for last season's week 17 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Dak Prescott and the Cowboys had already clinched the number one seed in the NFC and had nothing left to play for. They were visiting Philly and there was nothing to be excited about that week... except that Tony Romo was going to play some football.
During the second quarter, he led a TD drive. Cowboys Nation went completely crazy rooting for Tony, our QB, one last time. Seeing Tony walk back to the sidelines, smiling after his last play as a Dallas Cowboy was, for sure, something special.
#5 Football is a Meritocracy: Tony Romo's Press Conference
Wild Card alert! For my number five spot, I'm picking a moment which doesn't involve a football field.
Tony Romo spoke in a press conference last November. After asking for a chance to compete with Dak for the starting role and being denied, he decided not to be a distraction and spoke about what many already knew about Dak Prescott: "He's earned the right to be our quarterback."
Romo was a class act. He stood in front of the media at The Star in Frisco and put the final point on the debate everyone was talking about. Romo did what was best for this football team. One of a million reasons to thank Tony.
#4 Beating the Lions in the Playoffs
I remember this day like it was yesterday. I watched the first half of this game in a restaurant. I was out with my family for a New Year's trip to Las Vegas. Behind me, an annoying Lions fan was making fun of the Cowboys.
You can imagine my frustration.
When halftime came, I ran to the hotel room. Little did I know, I was about to witness an epic comeback, engineered by none other than Tony Romo.
With all the time in the world to throw, he stood patiently in the pocket and threw a perfect pass to T-Will, and walked away with a win in the playoffs.
#3 Losing to the Denver Broncos
Yeah, I included a loss in this list, but this game describes Romo's career perfectly. Facing the 2013 record-breaking Denver Broncos, led by Peyton Manning, Tony stood up.
He threw for 506 yards and five touchdowns. Tony played at the level of All-Time great Peyton Manning.
Unfortunately, the defense did not step up. Denver didn't punt once that day.
Why does it describe his career perfectly? Because everyone remembers the interception Romo threw at the end of the game. Not the five touchdowns.
People don't remember Tyron Smith stepping on Tony's foot right before that INT. And nobody remembers 9's incredible performance in this game. But we do.
#2 Through a Punctured Lung
Yes, the Punctured Lung Game.
In 2011, when the Cowboys visited the San Francisco 49ers, Romo punctured a lung and a fractured rib in the third play of the game. At one point after halftime, Tony looked to be done for the day, but he wasn't.
He came back to the field and led the Cowboys to an OT win, throwing for 345 yards and two touchdowns.
Tony Romo was a hero once again.
#1 Beating the Redskins With an Injured Back
Week 16, 2013: The Cowboys visit the Redskins.
Dallas had to win their next two games if they wanted to play in January, and Romo was playing with an injured back. With 3:39 left on the clock, the Cowboys were trailing by six.
Tony engineered a comeback drive and it was something that I'll never forget. After every single play, Tony Romo looked to be in pain. On one play in particular, he ran out of the pocket and you just knew every single step he took hurt him.
He didn't care though, that play resulted in a 51-yard pass to Terrence Williams.
I thought, "No way he can do that again..." but on the final play, he scrambled in the pocket again before tossing the ball to DeMarco Murray. Murray caught it, and scored the game winning touchdown.
That's my favorite memory of Tony Romo. What he pulled off, can be described in one word: heroic.
What are your favorite moments?
3 Things We Learned About The Dallas Cowboys In 2018
Coming into the 2018 season, loads of questions surrounded the Dallas Cowboys and the future of their roster.
Could their defense stay intact when the annual Sean Lee injury occurred? Was Kris Richard going to lead the Cowboys young secondary to places we thought they could be? And would Dak Prescott earn a contact extension and become the official franchise quarterback of America's Team.
Of course, there are tons of other questions that may have gone unanswered, but these three critical areas seem to find clarity in 2018.
Leighton Vander Esch And Jaylon Smith Are Legit
The Dallas Cowboys caught a lot of flack for their selection both of these linebackers, each for different reasons.
When they snagged Jaylon Smith in the second round of the 2016 draft, it was still unknown to the public if Smith could ever even play football again. When they took Leighton Vander Esch 19th overall last April, fans questioned how valuable an off-ball linebacker would be on a defense that already had Sean Lee.
Well, after their first full season together, it's easy to say that both Vander Esch and Smith are the linebacker options of the future in Dallas. Named to the Pro Bowl during his rookie season, Vander Esch took the world by storm in 2018. When Lee went down, he was there to not only fill his shoes, but to outplay the veteran all year long.
What is fun to consider is that as good as Vander Esch was this season, Jaylon Smith might be even better. Both posses insane sideline to sideline pursuit ability, and are some of the surest tacklers in all of football.
Watching these two grow together will be a pleasure over the coming seasons.
Their Young Secondary Is Coming Together
Like their linebackers, the Dallas Cowboys secondary is a young group, who fans are excited to watch grow throughout the years. It seemed like more pressure sat on the shoulders of young cornerbacks Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie than of Smith and Vander Esch, however.
With Kris Richard joining the staff and making the decision to move Jones to cornerback full time, it was do-or-die for the former first round pick. Byron Jones answered all the doubters, earning not only a Pro Bowl selection but also First Team All Pro honors for his performance.
Opposite him, Awuzie had a rough start to his sophomore campaign. While typically right there in coverage, wide outs too often made contested catches over him. Over the final few weeks of the year, however, that changed and Awuzie played some of the best football yet.
Xavier Woods, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis (in much fewer snaps) all had fantastic seasons as well, giving the Cowboys great hope and confidence in their secondary moving forward. They may need to add another safety during the offseason, however, though Jeff Heath remains more than just a viable option.
Dak Prescott Is Here To Stay
Whether or not you think it's justified, Dak Prescott is the quarterback of the future in Dallas. And he earned that right the back-half of 2018 and during the postseason. After a shaky start to his 3rd season, Prescott turned things around nicely, leading the Cowboys to a 7-1 finish to the regular season.
Prescott played the best football of his young career down the stretch, and showed just how valuable he is both on the field and in the locker room. It seemed like every game he made 2-3 winning plays that put the Cowboys over the top that afternoon.
Dak is going to get a contract extension, and will be locked in as a Cowboy for the foreseeable future, and with the way he played the final 10 games of his season, I can't second guess this decision much at all.
Jason Garrett Can’t be Serious About Retaining Scott Linehan, Can He?
One of the few positives most of us were looking forward to after the Dallas Cowboys Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams was the fact that Scott Linehan would no longer be the offensive coordinator for America's Team. Everything was pointing to his dismissal, but that may not be the case according to Head Coach Jason Garrett.
Jason Garrett said on 105.3 The Fan that offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will return in 2019. "We don't anticipate any significant changes on our staff," Garrett said.
I can't say that I was happy upon learning Jason Garrett plans on retaining Scott Linehan as the Cowboys OC in 2019. In fact, my first thought was… Well, something better left unsaid. I'm sure many of you can kind of read my mind, because I'm pretty positive you had all that the same thoughts running through your head as well.
In all honesty, I didn't think there was a snowball chance in hell Scott Linehan would return to Dallas after the conclusion of the 2018 season. After all, the Cowboys nearly fired him during the bye week earlier this season, meaning his job security was already on thin ice. He didn't do anything to improve things in my opinion.
I know Jason Garrett has said Scott Linehan will return as the OC in 2019, but not for a second do I believe it. We are less than 72 hours hours removed from the Cowboys exit from the playoffs and I highly doubt any of Dallas' decision-makers has had the time to sit down and discuss who stays and who goes. In fact, I know they haven't.
Stephen Jones says they won't comment on anything with coaching staff but that they need to take a deep look at why they fell short. Says it a little early to speculate about players or coaches. They haven't had a meeting about it yet.
I think once the Cowboys brass sits down and reevaluates the 2018 season, they will come to the conclusion they can do better than Scott Linehan as their offensive coordinator. There were just too many times throughout the season where the playcalling was a problem just. It's just time to move on, despite the vote of confidence by Jason Garrett.
Of course, this could just be me trying to read between the lines hoping and praying Scott Linehan is finally fired. Like many of you, I've grown way too tired of his predictable and dated playcalling. It's time to move on and find someone more innovative who can maximize the talent the Dallas Cowboys have on the roster, much like Kris Richard did with the defense.
You can either choose to believe Jason Garrett or not. I for one have a hard time seeing the Dallas Cowboys staying status quo with their coaching staff, especially their offensive coordinator. But, only time will tell.
Do you think it's time for the Dallas Cowboys to fire Scott Linehan?
Cowboys Rammed Out of Playoffs but 2019 is Bright
If you were to have clicked over to Sportsbook Review, you could have seen what all the premier online sportsbooks were dealing on the Cowboys/Rams game before kickoff. Sites like Bovada, which incidentally you can read a Bovada Review at Sportsbook Review as well, had the Rams favored in every quarter, in both halves, and installed LA as seven-point favorites over Dallas. As is often the case, the number was nearly spot on as the Rams bounced our 'Boys out of the postseason 30-22. It was a heart-wrenching loss for Dallas fans everywhere but for those who put their money where their mouths were, it was particularly painful in what turned out to be a one-point difference between losing and pushing.
Let’s look on the bright side, though. The Cowboys not only copped the division crown but the draft picks from April bore fruit this season. Linebacker and No. 19 overall pick Leighton Vander Esch is a certified stud while third-round pick Michael Gallup proved he is a bona fide NFL receiver. Second-round offensive lineman Connor Williams had difficulties at left guard, but at the very least, has a season under his belt at the next level and could turn into a legitimate bodyguard for Prescott in 2019.
And let’s not forget about the trade for Amari Cooper, which turned Dallas from a squad struggling to find its identity to an NFC East champ in winning seven of its last nine games since Cooper arrived. This year’s edition also bested a tough Seahawks team in the first-round of the playoffs.
Let’s face it, folks, no one expected the Cowboys to win a Super Bowl this season and what we got was about as much as we could have hoped with the current roster as it is presently constructed.
Dak Prescott has one more year on his rookie contract and will be looking to score a big payday at the end of next season, if not sooner. The Cowboys could enter negotiations and lock Prescott up for the foreseeable future, but it might be best for both parties to see what 2019 brings and go from there. Either way, Dallas will pay beaucoup bucks to keep Prescott in a Cowboys uniform so watching and waiting will most likely be the tact management takes with their star quarterback, with a franchise tag in 2020 as an option as well.
In the team’s immediate future will be signing their second-round pick in 2014, DeMarcus Lawrence. The talented defensive end provided the Cowboys with the edge rusher they needed for parts of this season and his combined 25 sacks over the last two seasons would be nearly impossible to replace. Dallas franchised him this season but will most likely put together a long-term deal for Lawrence in the offseason.
Ezekiel Elliott has also reportedly been hinting at his own contract extension even though he is contractually committed to the Cowboys for next season with a team option in '20.
Ironically, one of the strengths of the Dallas Cowboys in recent years was a relatively weak link this season. The offensive line was decimated by injuries and Pro Bowler Travis Frederick missed the entire season. But those wounds will heal for next season and the old gang will be back together again.
The Cowboys have loads of cap space but are without a first-round pick due to the trade for Amari Cooper. Nevertheless, the young blood on the team looks poised to contribute for many years and there will be money available to woo free agents to a club now viewed as a legitimate contender.
If you want to look at next season’s odds, make sure to educate yourself on which online sportsbooks are the most reputable, trusted, and reliable. Read the Bovada Review over at SBR and see what customers are saying about one of the industry’s top sportsbooks. Then, when the lines come out on next season’s division, conference, and Super Bowl winners, you can be informed and maybe throw a few bucks on the 'Boys from Dallas!
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