The last week of the season is here and the Cowboys once again find themselves in position to make a run in the playoffs if they can pass one final challenge. Unfortunately history is not on the side of Dallas in scenarios like this one.
I’m sure most would remember last year’s fiasco against the Giants and many more before that. The thing is though that history to this point has absolutely no relevance. The past will not alter the attitude with which the Cowboys enter this game.
December 9, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) waves to fans after the game against the at Paul Brown Stadium. Dallas won the game 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Come Sunday evening the Cowboys will be led out of the tunnel by their fearless leader and face of the franchise, Tony Romo. Needless to say, Romo has a gigantic monkey on his back. His record in do or die moments like these is almost disgusting. Like it or not though, he will be called on once again to deliver a victory in what could be considered one of the biggest games of his career.
His previous gaffes have given him a reputation for being good but not good enough, and in many cases have turned many fans completely against him. It’s hard to back somebody who has yet to win a meaningful game in his career, but this Sunday he will have his chance.
To many even a wild card victory will not suffice. A once great franchise is now riddled with mediocrity and too many almosts. The torch of this once storied team was passed to Romo in hopes that he could return it to greatness. The fruits of that decision have yet to be fulfilled, but could all this patience finally be paid off with what we’ve been seeking?
The numbers speak for themselves. At this point only a true fan and believer, or a complete idiot would pick the Cowboys on Sunday. I’m hoping I’m the former. Let’s face it, the defense is shot and running on fumes, the offensive line is much improved but far from consistent, and the offense in general is inconsistent. No matter, the defense still has one of the most prolific pass rushers in the game in Demarcus Ware who has chosen to brave the pain from which he is suffering. Don’t forget about his rising counterpart in Anthony Spencer who has all but earned the contract extension he was seeking. There is a guy named Dez Bryant who is making a name for himself that we can’t forget about either.
The roster is banged up and limping to the finish line which only speaks more in favor of this team’s character and ability to continue fighting. That is the key ingredient and attitude that makes this team different than last year’s. When this team was in its darkest hour, it rose to its feet and swung back, and the man who led the way is the guy that has that number nine on his chest.
This could be the make or break moment for Tony Romo. He has led a broken team to the opportunity to complete for a playoff spot, but at this point only a Super Bowl championship seems to be the remedy. Will fans accept another defeat in the last game of the season? Will they accept a loss in the wild card round? Would they even accept a loss in the Super Bowl?
The certainty at this point is that now more than ever Tony Romo needs his team. He needs every last person on this team to do their part to change the destiny of the Dallas Cowboys.
Sunday versus the Redskins is pretty much the start of the playoffs for both teams. Every game from this point on is win or go home. Maybe this is where Tony can start to change his legacy. Is this a make or break game for Romo? That’s a question that will have to wait to be answered, but one thing is for sure, he holds the answer to that question in his own hands. This is not just about Sunday, but about changing the atmosphere in Dallas and bringing home a Lombardi Trophy.
Tony Romo has been called to lead this team into battle, and like many great leaders before him he will take the glory that comes with victory, and he will take the shame that comes with defeat.
Jason Witten said it best at the beginning of the season when he said this can’t be the same old Dallas Cowboys story. Up to this point the story is almost exactly the same as in years past, but something tells me this story will have a much happier ending.