Tony Romo: Why you should enjoy his marquee moments
The date December 10th, 2000 won’t ring a bell to Dallas Cowboys fans, but there’s a moment that day that lives in football hearts.
It was the final day quarterback legend Troy Aikman suited up for the Cowboys. Aikman was hit by Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington in Week fourteen, suffering a final concussion that would send the Cowboys superstar into retirement.
Aikman was 34-years-old.
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His body had enough. His mind was telling him to take more snaps, but in the end, concussion after concussion became the final scoreboard.
Aikman, who led the Boys to three championships in four seasons, was forced to leave the game, despite the feeling of leaving some “meat on the bone.”
And just like that, the Cowboys were forced on a disastrous hunt for the next QB — starting with Quincy Carter, selected 53rd overall in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft. Carter, though, wouldn’t be the answer.
Carter, who is 37-years-old today, is out the game.
Tony Romo, on the other hand, who turned 35 last April, continues to suit up and surge.
Aikman’s injury in 2000 was nightmarish cause it yanked one of the greatest Cowboys players out the game without warning. Aikman arrived, conquered, and just like that, he turned into a greatest hit album people played in the offseason.
Time has this weird way of reminding us fans to live in the impossible, to appreciate the big plays by the big players, especially when they get the opportunities to make these great plays.
Romo by many accounts, should be on the retirement list. His back has gone through numerous trials, his ribs and fingers probably point in different directions and yet, the undrafted quarterback has accomplished what other upper echelon passers in the past haven’t done: defeat time.
Romo, once again, has led the Cowboys from behind for a win.
He engineered an improbable fourth quarterback victory under two minutes and no time-outs against the New York Giants last Sunday. Romo took the Cowboys down the field for 72 yards, and targeted his best friend Jason Witten for a touchdown pass that would seal the game.
Romo needed only 87 seconds to accomplish it.
Remember these Romo moments. Because as we’ve seen last Sunday, Romo has the propensity to do the comeback thing (successfully) again and again. But who knows how of these comebacks drives Romo has left?
I am intrigued by sport professionals accomplishing the impossible. Last Sunday, I had one eyeball glued to the Cowboys game with the other eyeball on the 2015 U.S. Open Tennis Championship in Flushing, New York.
Like Romo, Roger Federer, at the age of 34, has defined time on his terms. Under the New York lights, spectators tuned in to witness one of the greatest tennis players in the history of the game attempt to win an unprecedented 18th Grand Slam victory.
Though the world number two fell to the world number one in Novak Djokovic (6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4), Federer in many ways has won the war by eluding time and maintaining high performances that led him to two Grand Slam final championships this year.
The element of time has a funny way of shaking their finger at players, as with Troy Aikman’s exit nearly 15 years ago. But it’s the players — like Romo and Federer — who wave their finger back at time that draw our eyeballs.
Romo’s career, like Aikman’s, will end some day. Depending on how you look at it, at age 35, Romo’s time on the turf is truly diminishing by the week.
But in the meantime, continue to hit the mental record button on Romo. Why miss a moment, especially when the quarterback keeps engineering winning drives like that?
Retirement will call for Romo. Until then, enjoy every moment before his final date arrives.