Last Friday night, NFL Network featured former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo in the acclaimed “A Football Life” television series. The episode brought back many thoughts and debates about the quarterback who became the face of the franchise in 2006. It was full of joyful memories, painful images and great memories from good ol’ #9.
At one point of the episode, Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones mentioned that Tony Romo would be in the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor at AT&T Stadium. This is one of the many discussions that has taken place in Cowboys Nation since Tony’s retirement and it seems we’ve finally got an answer.
Days after NFL Network’s piece on the quarterback, Jerry Jones mentioned in 105.3 The Fan that he’d indeed honor Romo by inducting him to the Ring of Honor although he didn’t mention any timetable. In the meantime, however, fans will not stop the everlasting debate.
So allow me to share with you my two cents on the topic, and why I believe Tony Romo does deserve to have his name written in the Cowboys’ home forever.
As we all know, Tony Romo leads the Dallas Cowboys franchise in touchdown passes (248) and in yards thrown (34,183). He also has the most game-winning drives in team history with 29, which ranks him at 19th in the NFL since 1960. The stats are impressive, there is no denying that. But these numbers won’t tell you the story of Romo’s polemical career. We need to go beyond stats to discuss his time in the NFL.
Tony Romo may be the most controversial sports figure in the 21st century. Playing at quarterback for the most valuable sports franchise in the world is not an easy task and at the end of the day, his goal of bringing a sixth Lombardi Trophy to Dallas was never achieved. As painful as a botched snap in Seattle may have been, the lack of a Super Bowl win will always be the biggest thing that haunts his legacy.
In his very own words: “After all, they were depending on you to bring them a championship. That’s what quarterbacks are supposed to do. That’s how we are judged.” When it comes to a fan base that knows how it feels to be at the very top of the league, expectations are naturally higher. Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman have combined for five Super Bowl wins, so naturally, that was always the standard for Romo. A standard that was never met.
Even still, he deserves to be inducted into the Ring of Honor. You see, even if he never got to wear a championship ring, he meant a lot to this franchise. At times when the team was a disaster, he managed to make the Dallas Cowboys relevant year after year. It didn’t matter who was on the roster, as long as #9 was healthy and on the field, they had a legitimate chance to win the ballgame.
As a young fan, I have no clue what it feels to watch my favorite team play in the Super Bowl. I can’t even fathom what it’s like. And yet, every time the Cowboys were on TV, there I was. Watching the team because I knew they could win. The main reason why? You guessed it. Tony Romo was in at QB.
There’s an entire generation of fans who desperately love this football team because of Tony. This franchise, despite not being to the big game for more than 20 years, is passionately followed by a large group of people thanks to him.
I will always be convinced that wins and losses are a team statistic. Romo was electric on the field. He made epic throws and was one of the best moving around in the pocket. Most of his years playing for Dallas, the Cowboys featured a very poor supporting cast. He played for three different head coaches. He had to carry the team because for years he had shaky offensive lines and poor defenses.
Think about the punctured lung game, the 2013 Broncos shootout, the 2014 comeback versus the Redskins. All those great moments thanks to him.
I’ll never put the lack of a sixth Cowboys’ Super Bowl ring solely on his back. To me, that’ll never be an argument that justifies omitting him from the Ring of Honor.
“If I had to list my number one disappointment since owning the Cowboys, it would be not to have gotten Tony Romo to a Super Bowl.” Jerry Jones on 105.3 The Fan.
Tony Romo deserves to be remembered by Cowboys Nation. He always elevated the level of play of those around him and he gave it all for this franchise. He was an awesome player, a great teammate and one hell of a leader. Sure, his career may go down in our memories with a lot of “what could’ve been” thoughts. But there are many memories and victories that occurred thanks to him. And for that, along with many other Cowboys’ fans, I’ll always be grateful. That’s my quarterback.