Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is injured, again. A back injury suffered on the third play of the Cowboys third preseason game. The litany of injuries he’s suffered continues to grow and it makes me wonder just how much time at age 36 he has left, if any. In 2010 he sprained a shoulder and missed 10 games. In 2013 in the last game of the year he herniated
a disc in his back leading to back surgery. In 2014 he fractured his back in two places and missed 10 games. In 2015 he broke his collarbone not just once but twice. How much can one player endure? You may not like the Cowboys, you may even loathe them as I do but the will to compete and the strength he has inside almost forces you to respect Tony Romo.
This is a guy who ranks #1 on the Cowboys all time in passing yards (34,154) which is better than Roger Staubach, and better than Troy Aikman. He is #1 on the Cowboys all time touchdown list (247). He’s ranked 27th all time in passing yardage and is tied for 21rst all time in touchdown passes.
How does one reflect on the career of Tony Romo as the clock winds closer to his final snap? Does he get remembered as one of the finest quarterbacks of his generation? Or do we look at him the way we look at Dan Marino, Dan Fouts or Fran Tarkenton? A very good or even great quarterback that never won the game by which the greatest are measured and remembered? Is the vision of him crumbled on the Financial Field grass clutching his shoulder how he is remembered? Or is it for one simple play gone horribly wrong on a cool overcast 2007 night in Seattle? “The Flub”, a botched snap on a extra point length field goal that would surely have sent the Cowboys to Chicago for the NFC Championship game. That one play in and of itself defines Tony Romos career, so close. So close you can taste the win, the winds of victory pushing the air around a packed stadium only to have fate snatch it away at the last second. I remember the high fives, the cheers as I watched the Cowboys implode on national tv, loved it. Loved watching Dallas once again find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Now I feel for Tony Romo, I watch that play and know of the injuries and the missed games to come. The flubbed opportunity for greatness which so seldom comes along to even the greatest qbs not named Brady or Montana. While my disdain for the Cowboys continues to exist and I revel in every loss and every failure my respect for Tony Romo has grown. If his time has come, and it certainly is beginning to appear that it has I want to remember Romo as a fighter, a battler and one of the best quarterbacks ever to play. I will save my enjoyment of the flubbed snap for the Cowboys in general. Tony Romo has had a heck of a career, and if it’s over then Mr Dak Prescott has some pretty big shoes to fill.
Kudos to you Tony Romo, if you find a way to come back and play yet again I hope we all, Cowboy lovers and haters look at you with newfound admiration and respect.
It has been a long strange saga for us, and for Tony Romo.