Bill Parcells told us to put away the anointing oil. He knew, but we wouldn’t listen. Tony Romo was as raw as an NFL caliber QB could be. He needed guidance and coaching, but his biggest supporter and best chance to receive that guidance and coaching – Sean Payton- left the team to become head coach of the New Orleans Saints the off season before Romo replaced Drew Bledsoe as the Cowboys starter.
Seeing the potential in him, Payton tried to bring Romo with him, but Parcells wasn’t having it. This QB, previously hidden on the Cowboys depth chart, this diamond in the rough was all of a sudden in demand. Romo was raw, but Parcells saw something great in him too. It wasn’t by grand design that Parcells benched Bledsoe and turned the the reigns over to Romo. It was resignation of coming to the understanding that Bledsoe had nothing left in the tank and Romo would be a definite spark if not an improvement.
Ideally, Parcells would have rather nurtured Romo along and developed him, instead of throwing him to the wolves. The nature and pressure of the NFL wouldn’t let him. Romo once said that Parcells told him – using a golf analogy – ‘You’re like a ball in tall grass… lost’ . Parcells knew Romo had talent, but he also knew he had a long way to go. Parcells may not have had the will to see ‘project Romo’ to it’s completion.
It’s my opinion that Bill Parcells left the Cowboys because he knew his heart wasn’t going to be able to take a Tony Romo led Cowboys. It would take too much coaching, too much challenge to try and harness the greatness in Romo while eliminating the down side of him.
The lasting image and the single moment in football time that defines Tony Romo to this day is the bobbled hold in the 06 playoff game against the Seahawks in Seattle – Romo sitting on the turf, his hands to his helmet afterwards. The following season, the Romo led Cowboys went 13-3, almost erasing that memory. Then came ‘Cabo’ and the loss to the Giants in the playoffs. No memory erased.
Statistically, Romo has always impressed, giving the diehard Romosapiens something to hold on to. It seems to me to be our own fault when we get let down. We built Romo up in hopes he was something he may never be. It may be the coaching, or lack of it. (Personally, I’d have gotten rid of Cowboys QB coach, Wade Wilson, a couple years ago. He’s making little progress with Romo in working out the kinks and perfecting his craft) Even Tom Brady had a personal coach that worked with him in the off season, Romo doesn’t do that. Maybe he should.
I think Romo has earned so much ire, not because he isn’t a good QB. It’s, I think, because Romo is, really, a great QB… until he isn’t. And that is so much harder to take.
Maybe, if we look at it objectively, this is as good as it gets with Romo.
Ultimately, it’s up to Tony Romo to mitigate the mistakes and take the next step. CowboysNation keeps waiting and hoping. Even the haters are secretly waiting and hoping, no matter what they tell the rest of us. I’ve come to realize it comes down to this: We all really want to see the undrafted free agent from the 1 AA school succeed. It irks us that he hasn’t yet. We want Romo to fulfill the destiny we imposed on him. It will validate us. After all, we anointed him, even after Bill Parcells warned us not to.