This Tony Romo Apologist Is Done Apologizing

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Aug 4, 2012; Canton, OH, USA; Bill Parcells enters Fawcett Stadium before the start of the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Al Johnson consoles Tony Romo after the town ball boy slips a shiny-as-snot slick K-ball on the game’s most critical field goal attempt.

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.


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Tags: Bill Parcells Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones Tony Romo

  • Spanky

    My opinion, there are 52 other reasons the Cowboys haven’t gone deep into the playoffs. Fans need to wrap their brains around that. The Cowboys have some good players, but Team Greatness has been an illusion for years.

  • Stacy Justice

    I agree with understanding who #9 is (both upside and down). I don’t think I’ve ever really seen the Cowboys try and draft toward his upside, but keep putting it all on his shoulders. We’ve seen what that pressure does. Hopefully this year’s draft is different. Nice article Artie.

    • Artie C

      Thanks Stacy

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    Teams have won superbowls with mediocre quarterbacks….figure that one out Romo bashers. I often wonder how great Troy Aikman would have been without a great offensive team that give him the opportunity of be successful.

    • Michael Vu

      Not that great, IMO.

  • Old Frog

    Without an offensive line he’s just another Dan Marino (at best) and the fans will be just as disappointed.

  • Nick92661

    I grew up watching Troy Aikman play. Romo is better. Whatever “it” is, Romo has more of it. Difference is, Aikman had help, namely in the form of pro-bowl lineman and a top 5 defense. There’s entirely too much talk about Romo, and not enough talk about a TEAM that can’t run the ball, can’t protect the QB, can’t hold a lead, can’t force turnovers, can’t manage the clock, takes too many penalties, etc. Romo is asked time and again to make up for the shortcomings of a team that just isn’t very good. The Cowboys let Romo down much more than he lets the Cowboys down. He has single-handedly kept a bad team relevant.

    • Stacy Justice

      Very nice Nick…”The Cowboys let Romo down much more than he lets the Cowboys down”. Poetic.

    • Cowboyfan7764

      Right on the Money Nick…ON THE MONEY!! its gonna come down to does Romo have enough time left in his Career for the Cowboys to put together a young talented team around him for him to take them where we all want them to go…The Super Bowl..I Say “YES” he will end up doing it but all the cards are gonna have to fall our way in the same Season imo!! WE will have to stay Healthy and our O line is gonna have to come together which will make our Running Game come together which will open up the passing game which will help our defense stay fresh which will put pressure on the opposing teams!! Sounds like alot and it is but that is how Good teams become GREAT!! Come on Boys…Lets Be GREAT!! GO BOYS DC4L!!

  • Juanito Juanito

    the bad luck for romo is he playing in a time post parcells were jerry jones want to control all, because parcells separete jj from the control of the team and look what happen with draft days after parcells, a mess, last call for romo in this draft if cowboys help him with a good offensive line, 2007 cowboys 13-3 with a good offensive line

    • jkol

      Its not JJ fault Romo botch a fg , went on a vacation during his bye week in 2007 , blew several games in 2008, led the team to a 1-4 record in 2010, blew more games in 2011, and of course we all knew what happen in 2012..

      Face it Romo only play 1 solid seasons in his career. 2009

  • Steve Graham

    Yawn… this article has a BTDT feel. Romo is very good, but not great. He can win us a SB, but not all by himself. Those who worship Aikman remember ’92-’95 and forget TA only won one payoff game after that. When Dallas was great, Troy was great. When Emmitt and Irvin slipped, Troy’s game did as well.

  • ‘mericas_team2013

    What happened to the “Romo friendly” team that they were going to start building in 2009?

    • Artie C

      i completely agree

  • Steve Graham

    The great Oline we had in the early-mid 90′s was built with free agents & 2nd – 3rd round picks. Jerry’s been trying to pull that off again with no luck. Seems he’s finally realized that he needs to use his #1′s on some offensive linemen. D-line would be great too, just please stop drafting receivers & Rb’s that high.

  • Steve Graham

    QB’s make receivers, not the other way around. You can get receivers & backs anywhere. On defense, it’s all about the pass rush. In a 4-3 especially, that means you need stud linemen & lots of them. You can find LB’s & DB’s later for the back 7. I mean, who played in the back 7 for Giants during their SB runs? Just some guys.