If you're anything like me… the recent bad news surrounding the Dallas Cowboys has you somewhat bummed about the 2016 season. The Cowboys' current defense is depleted via suspensions; Rolando McClain added a 10-game ban to a front-seven that already had pass rushers Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence suspended – each out for the first four games of the year.
If you're anything like me… in the midst of all of this, thoughts of this team being far from a Super Bowl LI contender and letting down Tony Romo once again have crossed your mind too much over the past few days.
If you're anything like me… you realize that the Dallas Cowboys will always have a chance with Tony Romo as their quarterback, and it is something you appreciate every day.
With the aforementioned bad news surrounding America's Team on this holiday, and no on-the-field team activities to speak of, I figure now is as good a time as ever to appreciate the one and only Tony Romo – in anticipation of his return to action.
Tony Romo Owns the NFC East, and will prove it again in 2016
Similarly to 2015, the Dallas Cowboys will start their season against two divisional rivals. Tony Romo's career record against the NFC East is 33-25. He's thrown 88 touchdowns to 52 interceptions against the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles.
In 2013, the Cowboys defense was one of the worst in NFL history. Even still, Tony Romo managed a 5-0 record against the NFC East. Unfortunately, due to injury, Tony missed the most crucial divisional showdown of them all, as the Cowboys and Eagles met up in week 17 with the division on the line.
The Cowboys came close, but were missing the drive that Tony Romo provides, and ended their season at home with a 24-22 loss. In those five previous wins against the NFC East, here were Romo's stats:
The first thing that should jump out from these absurd stats is the number of times Tony Romo was asked to throw the ball. It's hard to win in the NFL averaging just over 38 passing attempts per game, but Tony Romo can persevere all odds.
Little did we know, a 2013 season that only further proved how dysfunctional the Cowboys were outside of their quarterback would lead to a 2014 season in which the world would be forced to take notice of #9.
Tony Romo's Resurgence: The 2014 Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys added another key piece to their offensive line entering the 2014 season when they drafted Zack Martin in the first round. Little did they know, Martin would become the missing piece to an offensive front that would dominate the line of scrimmage all season long.
The Cowboys' offensive line became their identity, with DeMarco Murray being the main benefactor of their superb run-blocking skills. With opposing defenses forced to pay less attention toward Romo and the passing game, the quarterback effortlessly tossed 34 touchdowns – 16 of which went to Dez Bryant.
This trio of offensive stars helped keep the Dallas defense off the field, which ultimately led the team to a 12-4 record, good enough to win the NFC East. After a signature game winning drive from Tony Romo advanced the Cowboys past the Lions in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs, their season came to a crushing end at the hands of the Green Bay Packers on the road the following week.
A Year to Forget…
A 2015 season that was supposed to end with Tony Romo hoisting the Lombardi Trophy instead ended with him playing in just four games. Ironically enough, two of the three wins Romo led his team to were against the Giants and Eagles in the first two weeks of the season.
Injuries ravaged the roster from top to bottom, as Jason Garrett kept his club competitive yet distant in the playoff hunt. For the offense, the second most notable absence was Dez Bryant, who was never the same after a week 1 foot injury suffered at home against the Giants.
The Return of Tony Romo: 2016 Aspirations
With the 2015 season being one to forget, the Dallas Cowboys have now turned their attentions to 2016.
Not only will Dez Bryant and Tony Romo be back on the field with a vengeance, but rookie Ezekiel Elliott is here and eager to become the missing element in the Cowboys' modern reincarnation of the 1990s “Triplets.”
The entire team is going to try to mimic the formula that worked so well for them in 2014, which should mean great things for Romo and the offense. The idea for this Tony Romo appreciation post came from the reality of the Cowboys defense looking like it will need plenty of offensive support this season.
In reality, this article could have been written at any time, because Tony Romo is always ready for whatever challenge lies before him. If the Cowboys are going to need to put up points to win in 2016, then expect Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Ezekiel Elliott – along with Brice Butler, Cole Beasley, and Terrance Williams – to rise to the occasion and bring this team back to where they want to be.
If you're anything like me… you cannot wait for the Dallas Cowboys to step onto the football field again for training camp this month. If you're like me, you cannot wait to see what Tony Romo has in store for us on the long march toward the Super Bowl.
If you're anything like me… you know that Tony Romo is going to have a special season.