This is going to take some getting used to, Tony Romo leaving. He’s our quarterback. And he’s been our quarterback for a decade. Tony Romo took over for the Dallas Cowboys at a time when we needed someone – anyone – to take charge and he’s brought about an era for Cowboys fans that many of us believed could only end with Romo’s last snap, period.
Until this past year, I’m not sure most even considered the possibility that his last snap on a football field could be under another team’s helmet, and thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that.
It’s been a bittersweet couple of years for Tony and his fans. The repeated collarbone breaks in 2015 sucked the wind out of some mighty sales after the successes enjoyed during the 2014 campaign. But it opened some eyes and made us look further forward than just Romo.
We drafted Dak Prescott with the 135th overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft with just that in mind, the future. The goal was to get a promising rookie behind Tony Romo to watch and learn from one of the game’s best, and before the season even began that plan had fallen to pieces.
Don’t get me wrong, nor any of us, really. We see Dak Prescott; we know who he is and what he means to this franchise. We saw it in week three of the 2016 preseason when he stepped in after Romo’s back injury, and we saw it during the second half comeback against the Packers in the playoffs. There is no denying that he is the future of this team, come what may.
But we’ve all got memories of Tony Romo doing something great with that star on his helmet, probably some of the stupid things he’s done as well.
Tony Romo was a long shot when we signed him undrafted out of Eastern Illinois, he was a long shot when he was thrown into his first game with virtually no chance of winning, and since that slippery ball slipped through his hands against Seattle, he’s been a long shot to see a Super Bowl from the field.
We aren’t holding any delusions about who or what Tony Romo is.
Now Tony is headed for a new career, replacing Phil Simms on the top CBS Sports broadcasting crew alongside Jim Nantz.
When I opened this blog in 2008, Tony Romo was already the starter. Seattle had already happened and Romo was already being dubbed a choke artist. I have fought against such monikers for as long as I’ve been blogging about the Cowboys, and now? Well, now that fight is over. Now I must listen to Tony a few times a year talking about the men he used to call teammates.
Tony Romo has meant so much to so very many of us fans, and our slogan here at Inside The Star is “Voices of a Nation” for a reason. So, the staff wanted to also share a few words about Romo’s departure.
Brian Martin (@bmart0204)
It is definitely bittersweet to see Tony Romo’s time with the Dallas Cowboys come to an end. I’ve been a fan since he first took over as the starting QB and hate to see that this is the way his career will end in Dallas.
Tony Romo has been a true professional both on and off the field, and you can’t deny how much he has given/meant to the organization. He put his mind, body, and soul on the line for his teammates and I wish him nothing but the best as he moves on from playing in the NFL. I don’t care what team he is playing for in 2017, the Cowboys or CBS. I will always be a fan and will root for him.
Mauricio Rodriguez (@PepoR99)
As a young fan, Tony Romo has been the guy, ever since I can remember. Literally. The memories he leaves Cowboys Nation are a lot. There's the loss against the Denver Broncos, the Washington game in 2013 when he played hurt, and of course, the Punctured Lung Game. There's even his last Touchdown pass as a Dallas Cowboy during a meaningless game versus the Eagles.
Number 9's journey in Dallas was a special one. Perhaps one in which neither the media or the fans were fair to him. From a Cowboys fan, I wish him the best and I invite you all to appreciate his greatness in Dallas. He gave this franchise his all. Every time.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you Tony.
Sean Martin (@ShoreSportsNJ)
Nobody needs me to describe the feeling of being a die-hard sports fan; we all know what it is like to live and die with a team, specifically the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have been my team since birth, and I've associated that with one man, QB Tony Romo.
When I prepared myself mentally and physically each week to not only watch, but invest my heart into the Cowboys, I invested into whatever amazing thing Tony Romo had in store for us. The only quarterback I've ever known, I defended Romo tirelessly through wins and losses, always appreciating the bond I had with fellow Tony supporters.
Now, I simply appreciate that the only team Tony Romo will know is my team, and that I got to watch a legend. What else can a sports fan ask for? Thank you for every single thing you meant to America's Team, Tony.
Kevin Brady (@KevinBrady88)
For us Cowboys fans born in the 1990s, Tony Romo is our quarterback. For much of my childhood the Cowboys were awful, their dynasty days behind them and seemingly nothing to look forward to on the horizon. Unable to replace Troy Aikman, the Cowboys tried a carousel of washed-up veterans and overlooked young players. Both failed.
Then an undrafted quarterback out of Eastern Illinois, Tony Romo came in at halftime of a divisional loss to the hated Giants and dragged this franchise from the abyss.
Sure, Tony Romo never won a Super Bowl, and hell, he’s never even been past the Divisional Round. But there is something to be said about a quarterback who never had a losing season and kept this team afloat while the front office rebuilt the roster.
Now, the Cowboys look to be on the verge of a championship run. But this championship-ready team was built, quite literally, on the back of Tony Romo. So thank you, Tony Romo, for everything you’ve done, for the Dallas Cowboys and for my life as a football fan. I can’t wait to hear you call games every Sunday.
Jess Haynie (@CowboysAddicts)
Tony Romo is the first great Cowboys QB that I got to watch from beginning to end. From the thrill ride of his 2006 debut all the way through, Romo has been an incredible story and player to follow. Getting to follow every moment of that story as a live viewer gives him a special place in my heart.
Troy Aikman had already won his first Super Bowl when I was old enough to start really appreciating football. I didn't get to see his early struggles, be it a one-win season as a rookie or the early playoff exit in 1991. I got to come in on greatness already realized, rather than watch it develop.
The saddest thing for me about Tony Romo's exit is that his lack of postseason accomplishments will forever drag down his mainstream reputation. I wish so greatly that we could have seen him have the glory that his own individual play deserved. He was better than what so many people think
John Williams (@john9williams)
I entered Cowboys Nation in 2000. See, I grew up in California and followed the 49ers because they had my favorite player; Joe Montana. After moving to Texas in 1997 I was a Chiefs fan because of... Joe Montana. After he retired I hung in as a Chiefs fan but the allure of the Star grew deep inside me. My best friends were Cowboys fans.
Finally giving way in 2000, I watched a majority of the games and experienced Troy Aikman, until Troy Aikman got hurt and then retired. The next five plus seasons of quarterback play still haunt me.
It wasn't until the middle of the 2006 season, when Tony Romo entered the game, that I saw hope in the Dallas Cowboys' quarterbacking situation. The years that followed were certainly worthy of the "Romo-magic" and "Jedi" nicknames. The 4th quarter comebacks, the spin moves away from pass rushers, the "never say die" way he played the game; it was amazing to watch, and amazing to be a fan, and at the same time gut wrenching because only two or three times did he have a team around him that was capable of making a Super Bowl run.
I have only ever owned three football jerseys: Joe Montana, Darren Woodson, and Tony Romo. One is in the Hall of Fame, one will be, and the other most certainly should be despite the false narratives. The quarterback who was at the helm of my first fantasy football championship: Tony Romo.
While it's a bummer that you won't be a Cowboy, and won't be playing anymore, it's exciting that we are going to get to see you every NFL Sunday for a long time to come. You will be as great and magical talking about the game as you were playing it. Thank you, Tony!
Yesterday was a long time coming, yet that doesn’t make it any easier to digest.
Perhaps the only saving grace for those of us who supported Tony Romo throughout his career, often in the face of staunch opposition, is that he will not be playing for another team, and by extension, potentially playing against his Cowboys.
For me personally, I remember his heroics at the end of games. Sometimes we lost anyway, even by his doing, but when we won, his actions made even his detractors feel special for a day.
Perhaps my favorite memory of Tony Romo is the 2014 Texans game, when he avoided J.J. Watt with his signature spin-move and found WR Terrance Williams somewhat open in the endzone for a touchdown.
It was something he did countless times throughout his career, but on that day, it was special for another reason. That day, two lifelong Dallas Cowboys fans (Derek Maberry and Dezmond Scott) who had never been to a game before were in attendance at AT&T Stadium, and for the first time I was responsible. I've since sent several fans to games by way of a sponsorship between Inside The Star and Reliant Energy, but that was the first. It made the play that much more memorable to me.
So, as others have been doing for weeks now, I bid Tony Romo farewell with thanks for more than 100 games I will never forget, and the devotion with which he so often led this team.
P.S., It's not lost on me that the '14 Texans game aired on CBS Sports...
While Tony Romo may not file official retirement papers in time, making him a Dallas Cowboy for each day of his NFL career, that’s how he will be remembered.
The Cowboys, as announced yesterday on InsideTheStar.com, have cut Tony Romo, designating him a post June 1 cut. The move adds a little space to the team’s salary cap space in 2017, which they’ll likely use to sign draft picks this summer.
For more on the Tony Romo updates and more, stay tuned to @TheStarPodcast in the next day as we’ll be discussing more Cowboys news with a fresh episode. Now that things have actually happened, a welcomed break from the speculation that has run rampant for these last three weeks.
Written by Bryson Treece.
How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys
The 2018 season was a two-part tale for the Dallas Cowboys. The first is the story of a mediocre 3-5 team that couldn't get it going offensively. The second part is about a football team that turned its season around, made the playoffs, got a win in the postseason and ultimately lost to the team that ended up representing the NFC in Super Bowl LIII, the Los Angeles Rams.
Surely, 2018 didn't go as planned. The storylines leading to last season are actually very different from the ones we're hearing today. Let's take a look at a few examples of how the tables have turned for the Dallas Cowboys.
The need for a true WR1
Last season, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys preached the philosophy of not needing a #1 wide receiver. While that could've sound encouraging at the time, once the season began the team was proven wrong. They did need a WR1. Fortunately, this season we won't have to worry about it. This year, Dez Bryant shouldn't be a discussion topic among Cowboys' fans.
Amari Cooper is in the house. And he's been pretty good since he started playing with a Star on his helmet. If we have conversations about the WR position, they will not be about who's the #1 guy. With Michael Gallup showing up late in the season, it probably won't be about who is #2 either.
Back on top of the NFC East
Last year, the Dallas Cowboys were not really the favorites to win the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles had just made history by winning their first Super Bowl ever and it seemed like the Cowboys would have to get a wildcard spot to play in January. Now it's the Cowboys back on top after sweeping the Eagles and turning their once 3-5 season around.
That of course, means a tougher schedule next season. However, it's nice to be back on top of the division. These two teams will surely have an intense race for the division title next season. Maybe we even see them both in the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Sean Lee's uncertain future
I'm pretty sure no one expected Sean Lee to be considered a potential cap casualty for the 2019 season. Even if he was, it would've probably been anticipating an injury or something like that. No one would've imagined that Leighton Vander Esch would be so good to take Sean Lee's job.
The Cowboys' first round rookie truly earned the starting role as the defense's weak linebacker and he should keep it. With Sean Lee set to return to the field, I'm sure we didn't expect him to be a backup by now. We'll have to wait and see if the Cowboys decide to part ways with him. As a fan, it would certainly be painful. But we can't deny it would be a move that makes sense.
It's a crazy franchise on a crazy league. Who knows how things will go from now on, but the Dallas Cowboys certainly look like a promising team heading into the 2019 offseason. Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue to update you with the latest on your favorite NFL team.
Cowboys en Español: Volviendo a la Idea de Earl Thomas
El año pasado, Earl Thomas fue uno de los temas de conversación más frecuentes para los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys. Después de que los Seattle Seahawks no le dieran su deseada extensión de contrato, Thomas se convirtió en un candidato a ser intercambiado de su equipo. Entre los favoritos estaban los Cowboys, quienes tenían una necesidad en su defensiva secundaria. Ahora que la temporada 2018 llegó a su fin, la misma necesidad por un safety de calidad está presente en Dallas.
Sólo que en esta ocasión, Earl Thomas no está bajo contrato con ningún equipo. Su último momento con el uniforme de los Seahawks fue en un carro de lesiones, donde salía lesionado en dirección a su vestidor. Esto mientras se despedía de su equipo con el dedo de en medio extendido hacia sus entrenadores y compañeros. Así concluyó su temporada y su carrera en Seattle.
Ahora, listo para cumplir los 30 años en mayo, Earl Thomas probará la agencia libre cuando comience en marzo. Y sin lugar a dudas, uno de los equipos candidatos a firmarlo serán los Dallas Cowboys. Es un equipo que a pesar de tener una de las mejores defensivas la temporada pasada, se vería muy beneficiada con la llegada de un profundo del calibre de Thomas.
A pesar de su edad y las lesiones, Thomas continúa siendo uno de los mejores en la liga. Su talento es innegable y tendrá toda la disposición de demostrar lo que vale cuando tome el campo la próxima temporada. Cuando llegue el momento, podríamos ver una guerra de ofertas entre varios equipos de la NFL para llevarse al veterano a sus respectivas ciudades.
La pregunta es: ¿estarán los Dallas Cowboys en esa guerra de ofertas?
Los Cowboys tienen espacio en el tope salarial. Sin embargo, este no durará mucho considerando que DeMarcus Lawrence está esperando su merecida y cara extensión después de jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia en 2018. Además, jugadores que aún están bajo contrato también estarán buscando ofertas este offseason.
Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, y Byron Jones están en la lista de quehaceres de la administración. Eso sin mencionar a Cole Beasley, cuyo contrato ya expiró y podría llegar a la agencia libre en marzo.
A pesar de esta complicada situación, los Dallas Cowboys deberían buscar conseguir a Thomas. Siendo sinceros, la defensiva tiene mucho talento y podría mantener su nivel en 2019. Pero hace falta un jugador en la posición de safety para llevar a esta unidad a otro nivel. Un nivel realmente capaz de ganar en postemporada enfrentándose a cualquier tipo de ofensiva. Sin importar que tan explosiva sea. Y además de esto, un jugador que sea capaz de robar el balón y hacer jugadas de impacto constantemente.
Cuando los Cowboys se enfrentaron a Seahawks en temporada regular, Thomas dio un buen ejemplo de esto interceptando en dos ocasiones a la ofensiva de Dak Prescott.
A pasos de un equipo de campeonato, un movimiento agresivo para obtener a Earl Thomas sería algo genial para Dallas. Vimos como los Rams de Los Angeles fueron agresivos al construir su equipo y llegaron hasta el Super Bowl este febrero. Quizá es tiempo de que Jerry Jones y compañía sean igual de agresivos y vayan por ese safety elite que la afición lleva pidiendo desde el offseason del año pasado.
Slot Machine: Amari Cooper in the Slot Could be Even More Dangerous
Amari Cooper was a dangerous man with the Dallas Cowboys after he arrived via trade from the Oakland Raiders last season. He was one of the big reasons why they were able to turn around a season that looked as if it was circling the drain and I don't think anybody would argue the point. But, I think he could be even more dangerous in 2019, especially if Cole Beasley departs via free agency.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you pretty much know the topic of the Cowboys offseason so far has centered around Cole Beasley and his future with the organization. He has been invaluable in Dallas since arriving as an undrafted free agent in 2012, but it's looking more and more as if he could be taking his talents elsewhere in 2019.
With Beasley more than likely moving on, the Cowboys will need to find someone who can replace his production in the passing game, especially in the slot. Everybody assumes Dallas needs to go outside the organization to find that player, but I'm not so sure. I think they already have a wide receiver more than capable of stepping in, and he just so happens to be there first-round draft pick this year.
In case you haven't figured it out already, I'm talking about Wide Receiver Amari Cooper. He has mostly been used as an outside receiver in his professional career, but he does have the skill set and route running ability to be a really dangerous out of the slot. I'm not talking about a full-time move into the slot or anything, just a marginal increase in snaps.
According to Rotounderworld.com, only 12.6% of Amari Cooper's snaps in 2018 were out of the slot. For comparison sake, Cole Beasley's snaps in the slot was 85.9%, the highest of any receiver in the NFL last season. That's a huge difference, not one the Cowboys should try to match with Cooper or any other potential slot WR replacement.
Personally, I'd like to see Cooper's snaps playing out of the slot increased to around 20%. That would put him in Odell Beckham Jr. territory (19.9%), and we all know how difficult he is to cover all over the field. It would likely do the same for Amari Cooper.
I just really like the idea of him having the entire field to work with and the favorable matchup it creates with slot/nickel cornerbacks around the league. Can you imagine opposing defensive coordinators trying to figure out how to contain a player that has the kind of speed and route running ability that Amari Cooper has? They better stock up on Tylenol, because that is a surefire way to get a headache.
This is course is just speculation at this point, especially since we don't know what the Cowboys offense will look like with Kellen Moore taking over the playcalling duties. But if it was me, I'd be doing everything in my power to get the ball in the hands of my best WR, Amari Cooper, and that might mean increasing his snaps out of the slot.
What do you think about using Amari Cooper out of the slot more often in 2019?
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