With rookie quarterback Dak Prescott playing well beyond his years, the Dallas Cowboys can finally start looking at life after Tony Romo.
After the Dallas Cowboys were able to capture another victory on Sunday night over the Chicago Bears, I couldn’t help but feel sad. Not sad about the win. Or the 2-1 record. Or the rookie play makers. And not even sad about the lack of pass rush.
I found myself sadden due to the play of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.
Now, obviously the rookie signal caller is playing as well as anyone could have hoped in the absence of veteran quarterback Tony Romo. His stellar play has been anything but saddening. The sad part, for me, is the implications of his play. The implication that, for the first time in a long time, there is life after Romo.
Hear me out and maybe you will find yourself a little down on what should be an otherwise joyous day in Cowboys Nation.
I’m 24-years old. Born and raised a Dallas Cowboys fan. And while I was born and raised with silver and blue draped around me, I didn’t live the glory days. I have relived all of the moments of joy that the Triplets brought to Cowboys fans in the early 90’s. I still have their Super Bowl victories recorded on VHS from my dad. I love those teams and they way they were built. And the way the played.
I get chills when I listen to a Hall of Famer like former wide receiver Michael Irvin talk about the San Francisco loss at the hands of the former Niners and Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders no call. I love watching former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman stand tall and deliver lasers all over the field with surgical precision. And I’ll never forget when I read in my local newspaper that running back Emmitt Smith would sign a one day contract with Dallas to retire a Cowboy.
So, while I may have relived all of those magical moments, I didn’t live them.
I grew up naively thinking that Drew Bledsoe was the Cowboys’ answer at quarterback. I watched him throw touchdowns to wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson growing up. I didn’t know what a brighter future looked like because I could only see what was right in front of me.
Then I started to hear rumblings of this young kid out of some no name college who just might have a little something.
I remember watching that preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks in 2006, in the second floor of my sister’s house, on a grainy 19″ television. Quarterback Tony Romo played the entire game. And I remember the announcers repeatedly talking about how then=Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells wanted to see what this kid had.
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I remember when Romo came in and replaced Bledsoe on that Monday night game against the New York Giants on October 23, 2006.
I remember him getting that first win a week later against Carolina on Sunday Night Football.
I remember Romo out dueling an undefeated Peyton Manning.
I remember the playoff loss.
I remember the broken bones and the punctured lung.
I remember each come from behind victory, and each would be sack that Romo somehow evaded.
Now more than ever, I remember it all.
Tony Romo is MY quarterback. He brought life back to a franchise that I had only witnessed struggle through mediocrity before his arrival. He is my quarterback as he should be for any 90’s baby. He is my quarterback because I always felt we had a shot at a win with him under center, no matter the circumstance.
Fourth quarter comeback after fourth quarter comeback. I never thought the fun would end. Romo is my Troy Aikman…and my Roger Staubach. And I had never envisioned a time without him leading our team.
Prescott has given me reason to look beyond Romo. Not past him, but beyond him. Perhaps Tony will come back in and lead this team on a meaningful playoff run. My heart hopes that he can win his Super Bowl that he so rightfully deserves. But sometime soon, it will be time for the team to move on to the future. That future is so evidently Prescott.
This is the natural progression of sports. While it is natural, it is also sad. And this is why after an otherwise fantastic Cowboys victory, I find myself a bit gloomy.
Because as one run comes to an end; I remember it all. I appreciate it all. And I wish the ride would never have to end… at least not without a Super Bowl ring. Not for me, but for Romo. I could never envision life after the undrafted rookie out of Eastern Illinois. Now I can, and I wish I didn’t have to.
My brother’s had Troy.
My dad had Roger.
I hope my son will have Dak.
I’m proud to say I had Tony Romo.