This is the last Friday that we will have to endure without the NFL in our lives for the rest of 2015. Let that sink in.
The footballiest time of the year is on the horizon and it’s a great time to be alive. The Dallas Cowboys kick off their season next Sunday at home against the New York Giants. How many days away is that exactly? Tony! Tell us!
Thanks, Romo. I can’t wait to try a crownie or two, or seventeen, in 9 days.
That’s right, baby. 9 days. SINGLE DIGITS.
Our Countdown To Kickoff series here at Inside The Star has reviewed the Greatest Cowboys to wear each jersey number. We started 90 days ago with #99 so if you have some time on your hands (like 18 hours) go back and read them all! I’ll share my crownies with you.
I hope you practiced your spin move. We’re about to get going with the Greatest 9 in Dallas Cowboys History. Let’s roll.
The Following Players Have All Worn 9 For The Dallas Cowboys:
*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster
Herm Edwards once said, “You play to win the game!” That’s why we’re all here, right? That’s why we lift all them weights. We spend each and every season believing that this is the year. This is our time.
The Greatest #9 in Dallas Cowboys History has played each and every snap of his career with a sense of greatness that exemplifies that exact hunger and drive. He has played not just as if this is the year, but also as if this snap, as if this throw, as if this is the moment.
He has given us his absolute all.
The next time that you see the Dallas Cowboys on a football field it will be for real. Games will count, statistics will be recorded, and the journey will officially begin towards Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California.
When the game is over and confetti rains down in Santa Clara, Jim Nantz is going to hand over the Vince Lombardi Trophy… to the Greatest 9 in Dallas Cowboys History.
Do you remember what you were doing on October 23rd, 2006? Let me remind you.
“Romo! Romo! Romo!”
The chants were deafening within Texas Stadium as the Dallas Cowboys trotted to the locker room at halftime on Monday night against the New York Giants. This was Monday Night Football. The New York Giants were in OUR house. The house of the Dallas Cowboys. Where we demand excellence.
The lives of each and every Dallas Cowboys fan were made better at halftime when then Head Coach Bill Parcells (now Pro Football Hall of Famer, mind you) decided to pull quarterback Drew Bledsoe in favor of Antonio Ramiro Romo.
Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2003, Tony Romo was relatively unknown. After failing to get drafted, two other Eastern Illinois alumni showed some interest in Romo: Mike Shanahan, then Head Coach of the Denver Broncos, and Sean Payton, then Assistant Head Coach/Quarterbacks Coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Romo felt that he had the best shot to make the Cowboys roster so he packed his bags and set sail for Dallas.
Tony entered that 2006 Monday Night Game against the Giants the same way that he runs out on the field today, with sheer joy and love for the game. That’s what has made Romo special all of these years, he plays the game the way that we all wish that we could, and with an attitude that we all wish that we had.
Teach Me How To Romo
The early days of Tony Romo were some of the most incredible games to watch for Dallas Cowboys fans. In his first career start at Texas Stadium he showed us the way that he can lead a team as the Cowboys gave the 9-0 Colts - and eventual Super Bowl XLI Champions, by the way - their first loss of the season.
Oh and a week later he threw for 5 touchdowns on Thanksgiving – no big deal.
Thrilling victories have become a staple of the Cowboy QB. Just a week after tossing those 5 touchdowns Romo went up to the Meadowlands and won a thriller against the G-Men. He has become synonymous with epic games.
In 2007, the Cowboys traveled to Buffalo for another Monday Night contest. Despite throwing 5 interceptions, Romo rallied the team and was able to put up 9 points in the final 24 seconds to squeak out a 25-24 victory. With Tony Romo as your starting quarterback, things are always interesting.
2007, St. Louis Rams, you know what play I’m talking about.
Sharing this clip bc Im a fan not because Im trying to get rich from highlight clips. The No Fun League is pulling all these clips off YouTube.
Tony Romo has demonstrated this uncanny ability to make plays when things seem like they’re about to come crashing down. It’s not a skill that can be taught, it’s just being special… and that’s what Romo is.
Consider that Tony Romo went from undrafted rookie to star quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. How freaking incredible is that? It’s literally the American Dream.
There is a magic about Romo, there’s no doubt about that. It’s a combination of a lot of things, really.
There’s grit - and Tony Romo is a warrior. The guy suffered broken ribs AND a punctured lung and still came back to rally his team to victory over the San Francisco 49ers in 2011.
How about that time he actually broke his back against the Washington Redskins in 2013 and, with the season on the line, still threw the game-winning touchdown to DeMarco Murray? His will to win is unmatched.
If you’re going to go to battle, Tony Romo can lead you there.
Over the course of the last few seasons in Dallas he has really embodied the “C” that he wears on his chest. Dez Bryant, one of the most passionate players throughout the entire NFL, lays out for Romo. He's the type of quarterback that players want to fight for. He brings out the best in his teammates and raises the overall caliber of play.
As obvious as it is, there is a magic to Romo’s magic. You simply cannot explain some of the plays he makes or how he makes them. Need some proof?
This exhibit is a vintage JJ Watt from 2014, only last year’s Defensive Player of the Year. While he wasn't at the jugs machine catching passes for no reason at all he completely whiffs here when Tony puts on the classic Romo Spin Move.
Not enough for you?
How about when he put the same move on Bruce Irvin one week later?
This pass came on a pivotal 3rd and 20 which kept the drive alive, allowing the Cowboys to put the exclamation point on their signature win of the 2014 regular season.
So much is made about comparing quarterbacks to one another.
Super Bowl Rings, MVP trophies, and passing yard titles are always the determining factors, but I think we should consider something else.
Tony Romo has developed into one of the most dependable quarterbacks in the National Football League. With him under center, you always have a shot. Always.
Excluding 2010 (Romo only started the first 6 games before suffering a season-ending injury), with Tony Romo under center the Dallas Cowboys have never - not one single time - played a game where they were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
That’s right, every single game that Tony Romo has ever played for the Dallas Cowboys has mattered. Among all other notable NFL quarterbacks, the same can only be said of Tom Brady and Joe Flacco.
Think about that. You have not once gone Christmas shopping with the Cowboys out of it. That is an incredible gift that Tony Romo has given us over the course of his career. He can never be counted out.
#9: Tony Romo
This era of Dallas Cowboys football will hold a special place in all of our hearts when it is over. Tony Romo has been the epitome of stability for the Dallas Cowboys since he stepped into our lives on the evening of October 23rd, 2006.
Among many, many others… Tony Romo’s Cowboy resume includes:
- 2,743 Completions (2nd in Dallas Cowboys History)
- 33,270 Passing Yards (1st in Dallas Cowboys History)
- 242 Passing Touchdowns (1st in Dallas Cowboys History)
- 257.9 Yards Per Game (1st in Dallas Cowboys History)
- 97.6 Career Passer Rating (2nd in NFL History)
October 23rd falls on a Friday this year, but guess who the Dallas Cowboys play two days later on Sunday? The New York Giants. It will mark the 9-year anniversary of when #9 marched his way into our lives.
When teams win championships there is always a certain magic that surrounds them, things that happen for no reason other than destiny. The Greatest 9 in Dallas Cowboys History, Tony Romo is that magic. This season feels like destiny.
Check back tomorrow to read about the Greatest #8 in Dallas Cowboys History!
Free Agent CB Orlando Scandrick Joining Washington Redskins
Just two days after being released by the Dallas Cowboys, cornerback Orlando Scandrick has found a new home in the nation's capitol. After 10 seasons in Dallas, Scandrick is signing with the rival Washington Redskins.
Redskins and Orlando Scandrick have agreed to a 2-year deal worth a max value of $10M, source said. From Dallas to a rival.
By joining Washington after leaving Dallas, Scandrick follows in the footsteps of many ex-Cowboys: Terrell McClain, Jason Hatcher, Stephen Bowen, and even Deion Sanders to name a few.
Last week, Orlando reportedly requested his release from Dallas. It was widely expected that he would be a salary cap casualty anyway, though, and especially with the young stockpile of cornerbacks the Cowboys currently have.
Dallas has three young corners they believe in with Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Anthony Brown. There is also talk that Byron Jones could be moving back to CB next year.
Scandrick, 31, will get to stay in the NFC East and now cover some of his former teammates. Give the reportedly salary, he should at least be the slot corner for Washington next year if not a starter.
Upgrading the Offensive Line Cowboys Top Offseason Priority?
Despite the displeasure by the majority of fans, the Dallas Cowboys continue to hold things close to the vest with their approach to free agency. It's definitely not the most popular approach and tends to drive fans crazy, but things could start heating up now that the free-agent market is starting to settle.
Looking from the outside in, we can only speculate as to which positions the Dallas Cowboys may prioritize in free agency and in the draft that matter. Earl Thomas and the safety position has been the most popular topic of discussion throughout the free agency process, but it looks as if the Cowboys are narrowing their focus on upgrading and adding depth to their offensive line.
This is just speculation of course, but it's based on the fact that the Cowboys are rumored to be bringing in free-agent offensive lineman Marcus Martin and Cameron Fleming. And on top of that, it was announced that two of the Dallas Cowboys 30 pre-draft visitors are also offensive lineman, Will Hernandez, who is popular among Cowboys fans already, and offensive tackle Kolton Miller.
I don't know about you, but it looks as if the Dallas Cowboys are certainly focused in on upgrading the offensive line. This absolutely makes sense after what they went through last season with the carousel at the left guard position and Tyron Smith's struggles to stay healthy.
More than anything, the Cowboys need OL depth heading into the 2018 season. There is only really one spot up for grabs at left guard, but the depth across the OL is absolutely depleted unless you want to rely on Chaz Green again.
This is where Marcus Martin and Cameron Fleming make a lot of sense. Marcus Martin has the versatility to play center and guard, and has done so already in his NFL career. He could compete for the starting LG position, but if nothing else, could replace Joe Looney as the backup C/OG.
Cameron Fleming could be the more important of the two free agents the Cowboys are rumored to be interested in. At the worst, Fleming would be an upgrade as the swing tackle, something he's done with the New England Patriots throughout his career. But, he could compete to become the starting right tackle, which would kick La'el Collins back inside to left guard.
That's all speculation right now, but the Dallas Cowboys would do what's best for the entire team in order to get the right starting five offensive lineman on the field.
The same can be said about rookies Will Hernandez and Kolton Miller. Hernandez would likely be a plug-and-play left guard if he ended up being the Dallas Cowboys first-round draft pick. That would keep the offensive line from shuffling and hopefully solidify the unit for years to come.
Kolton Miller on the other hand would be a lot like the Cameron Fleming situation mentioned above. He can probably tackle on the left or right side the NFL, although some draft analysts believe he will struggle as a LT at the next level.
Of course, there is no way of knowing how much interest the Dallas Cowboys have any of these players right now. But to me, it looks as if upgrading the offensive line is certainly one of their top priorities this offseason.
Is upgrading the OL the Dallas Cowboys top offseason priority?
Cowboys Free Agency: The Thin Line Between Frustration and Comprehension
For die-hard NFL fans, the free agency period is as fun as any other week in the regular season. It's always a fun experience knowing what team is interested in which player and who's visiting who. Heck, there are websites with "free agents trackers" for people who don't want to miss a single thing.
Seeing the huge contracts some players get and discussing whether it's well-deserved money or an overpaid salary provides football fans all around the league with fun football conversations in the middle of March.
This is a period in which, despite not being on the field, every NFL team is doing the same thing. Trying to get better. Which is exactly why most Dallas Cowboys fans are frustrated with how things have gone for their favorite team in this 2018 NFL offseason.
Right now, less than a week after the free agency period officially began, they're the only team left in the NFL that hasn't signed a single free agent.
Surprising? Not at all.
Whether we like it or not, we know how this team likes to operate. A quiet free agency isn't out of the ordinary for the Cowboys. For many years, the NFL Draft has been the priority for them, and they've done a good job at it.
At the end of the day, waiting for the first wave of free agents to pass is smart unless you're looking for a QB or have a huge amount of cap space. When you look at what players are getting, you realize most of them are overpaid. Sammy Watkins got a $48M three-year deal, when he hasn't really proved to be worth it.
I don't think Cowboys Nation would've liked to see the Jones family bring Watkins for that kind of money. Personally, I don't mind the Cowboys' front office letting those first expensive signings occur without them participating in them.
I mean, they've already made a splash, when you think about it. DeMarcus Lawrence was the biggest non-QB free agent of the year and they managed to keep him for at least next season. It's not exactly a free agent signing, but they are paying one of the NFL's best pass rushers more than $17M to wear the Star one more year.
Yes, the Cowboys' team-building philosophy is comprehensible. But when do fans like you and me stop understanding their offseason approach and get bothered by it? To me, that frustration came in the form of Tyrann Mathieu signing with the other NFL team in Texas.
If the Honey Badger had signed a super expensive contract, I'd be fine with the Cowboys passing on him. But Houston was able to get him for just seven million dollars on a one-year prove-it deal.
Mathieu is one of the best defensive talents in the league and will be just 26 years old when next season begins. Why didn't the Cowboys tried to land him, if safety is a position of need? I mean, we've been talking about a potential trade for Earl Thomas all year!
Were they hesitant just because the Honey Badger isn't your traditional safety? Are they so conservative that their reason to not go after him was he wasn't a scheme fit? When you're talking about a talent like his, I think you make things work to see him thrive along young and promising cornerbacks like Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie.
The Cowboys can still look at Tier-2 free agents such as TE Eric Ebron or S Kenny Vaccaro over the following days. It could end up working for them, or it could end up just like Nolan Carroll's horrendous game versus the Broncos in week 2 of the 2017 NFL season and his $2M in dead money for this year.
When it comes to the Cowboys' approach to free agency, there's a very thin line between comprehension and frustration. Maybe, just maybe, they make us understand next season when we see results on the field.
For now though, it's tough to stay in the "comprehending" side of things.
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