To enchant someone is to fill them with great delight. To enchant someone is to charm them.
Do you remember October 23rd, 2006? It was one of the most enchanting days of your life. Why? A kid from Eastern Illinois named Tony Romo entered our lives.
Tony Romo, Quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, entered the second half of that Monday Night Football contest against the New York Giants and has been enchanting us every moment since.
Fast forward 3,469 sets of the sun and we find ourselves at April 21st, 2016 – Tony Romo's 36th birthday. A lot has happened for Tony Romo and the Cowboys since then, and we here at Inside The Star felt that today of all days was perfect for a stroll down memory lane.
I'm pretty well-versed when it comes to honoring Tony Romo here at Inside The Star.
During my Countdown To Kickoff Series last year, I wrote about how Romo is the Greatest #9 in Dallas Cowboys History. In the early days of December 2015 when all hope was lost regarding the Cowboys, I continued my series of “Plans” with Plan IV and shared a personal story revolving around Tony and the notion that anything can happen.
Like a lot of loyal members of Cowboys Nation, I have exhausted myself singing songs of Romo's praise. The general public took a bit longer to warm up to his greatness, but as of 2014 the widespread consensus is what we have known all along – Tony Romo is an elite quarterback.
What Exactly Is An Elite Quarterback, Though?
The whole “elite” thing is just a level of subjectivity that varies from analyst to analyst, fan to fan, friend to friend. How exactly can you objectively measure or quantify what makes an NFL Quarterback elite?
Typically when you're elite you've gotta be the first to do something – everyone loves a pioneer. Tony Romo happens to be the first quarterback in NFL History to be over 200 touchdowns while under 100 interceptions. Tony also happens to be behind only one quarterback in NFL History in terms of fewest interceptions along the way to 242 career touchdowns (that guy is Tom Brady, ever heard of him?).
Tony Romo took the second fewest games in NFL History to get to 30,000 career yards. He is third all-time in QBR (he has the highest QBR in 4th quarters and overtime, for what it's worth).
Is That Elite?
From 1998-2014 Romo had the 3rd highest passer rating of any QB in the 4th quarter while losing by 1-8 points, and the highest when leading by 1-8 points. Speaking of 2014 he also happened to have the league's best passer rating.
We're talking about a dude who went 8-8 with the worst statistical defense in NFL History. He is incredible.
Let's define incredible now. Is he just really good? What does “incredible” even do for his team?
Tony Romo does a whole hell of a lot for the Dallas Cowboys. In the Tony Romo era, excluding 2010 and 2015 when Romo suffered season-ending injuries, the Dallas Cowboys have NEVER played a game where they were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
Think about that. Seriously. Close your eyes and think about how amazing that is.
Every game that Tony Romo has EVER played has had meaning. Every single one!
There has not once been a Week 17 game where we entered with the door of destiny slammed shut on us. That's what makes Tony Romo incredible – with him you always have a chance.
The 2015 season served as a glaring, and painful, indication that Tony Romo is the Dallas Cowboys, but even that isn't a strong enough sentiment to convey exactly what he means to this franchise.
Tony Romo Leads The Dallas Cowboys Fearlessly
The spirit of Tony Romo is truly exemplified in the notion that with him you always have a chance. Antonio Ramiro has, over the course of his career, developed an uncanny ability to make the best plays when all hope seems to be lost. He is anything and everything that you could ever want in a quarterback.
Tony Romo's Career Resume
- 2,826 Completions (2nd in Dallas Cowboys History, 28th in NFL History)
- 34,154 Career Yards (1st in Dallas Cowboys History, 27th in NFL History)
- 247 Career Touchdowns (1st in Dallas Cowboys History, T-21st in NFL History)
- 78 Career Wins (3rd in Dallas Cowboys History)
- 30 Career Game-Winning Drives (1st in Dallas Cowboys History, T-16th NFL History)
- 25 Career Fourth Quarter Comebacks (1st in Dallas Cowboys History, 14th in NFL History)
- 97.1 Career Passer Rating (1st in Dallas Cowboys History among eligible QBs, 3rd in NFL History)
There's another matter that I've been wanting to get into for quite some time. As today is Tony Romo Day it feels appropriate.
You could make a legitimate argument that Tony Romo has only truly lost two games since 12/15/13. I want to write about this. Hmm.
December 15th, 2013 was the day that the Dallas Cowboys blew a 26-3 halftime lead at home to the Matt Flynn-led Green Bay Packers. It was, I believe, the last time that we saw the Romo that pundits believe he is and the last time that he truly lost a game.
The next loss in line came on December 29th that season at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. If you'll remember Romo suffered a season-ending injury to his back the week before during the victory in Washington so he did not play in this game – not his fault.
Fast forward to the 2014 season, where the Dallas Cowboys suffered five total losses. The first of those was Week 1 at home to the San Francisco 49ers. This was one of the worst games of Tony Romo's career, but he had rushed himself back and wasn't fully healthy. Ultimately Romo played abysmally, but as he wasn't himself… it's hard to say that he lost the game. He was handicapped and it showed.
The next two losses for America's Team came in back-to-back weeks against the Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals. It's funny that these were back-to-back as it was Tony Romo's back that prohibited him from finishing the Washington game and playing in the Cardinals game altogether.
Tony was injured in the middle of the Redskins game and didn't get a chance to fully finish it – so that loss isn't 100% on him. As he didn't play at all in the Arizona game, that loss isn't his either.
The only other regular season loss of that season came at home on Thanksgiving to the Philadelphia Eagles. This game can be attributed to the same handicap that plagued him in Week 1 as the Cowboys were on a very short week after a Sunday Night Football game in New York. Tony wasn't himself, and it showed. This is another half mulligan.
We all know how the 2014 Dallas Cowboys season ended, and to this day it was still a catch. A botched call cost Tony Romo his season, and gives us another reason as to why he never truly lost a game that season.
In terms of 2015 Tony Romo played in four total games. He won three of them, and the one loss came on Thanksgiving when he was knocked out with a broken collarbone for the second time that season. As he didn't finish the game… the loss isn't totally his fault.
The point is that when Tony Romo is Tony Romo… the Dallas Cowboys haven't lost a game in over two years. It's just another incredible data point in his storied and ongoing career.
Today, on Tony Romo's birthday, we celebrate that career. That's our quarterback, and it's been enchanting to know him.
What's your favorite Tony Romo memory? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at RJ@RJOchoaShow.com, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!