On Monday morning, quarterback Tony Romo released the news that he will pursue a career in broadcasting rather than one on the field, and is set to retire from the NFL. This week marks the end of an era. Here is a breakdown of the best and worst moments of a man who became the face of our franchise.
There is a great deal that we wish we could forget:
5. Thanksgiving 2014
The Cowboys had an 8-3 record and were set to play the Philadelphia Eagles. The season was looking up with a chance to grab the East. Romo had no touchdowns and threw two interceptions, attributing to the rough 10-33 loss. Although the season ended on a good note with 4 consecutive wins, the loss cost Dallas the first playoff seed and they instead ended up with the third. This forced a road game at Green Bay in the divisional round, and the rest is history.
4. Year 4 Without Playoffs
The 7-6 Cowboys were looking up as they had a chance to attain a playoff bid in 2013 after a three year drought. In December, the team seemed to be locking in their eighth win against the Packers with a 26-3 lead at half. Subsequently, the second half included five Green Bay touchdowns and two pivotal Romo interceptions that sealed a stinging 36-37 loss.
3. A Bitter Beginning
The 2011 Dallas team had a new coach, Jason Garrett, who had proven himself in the previous season. They had a promising running back in Felix Jones and a quarterback ready to roll in Tony Romo. In the season opener against the Jets, Jones scored early in the fourth quarter giving Dallas a 24-10 lead, but then the trouble began. The Jets scored 17 unanswered points and Romo threw an interception with under a minute to play leading to a heartbreaking 24-27 loss for the start of a long season.
2. Christmas Blues
The Cowboys needed a win in their last game of the season against the Eagles in December of 2008. In this game, Tony Romo threw for no touchdowns and only 183 yards. Adding on to the downfall were his interception and his two fumbles, one of which was returned for a 73 yard touchdown. One of the most embarrassing losses of the Cowboys era, Dallas was blown out 6-44 and playoff hopes were destroyed.
1. The Fumble
The 2007 wild card game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys had less than two minutes left to play. Dallas was down by one and lined up for a short field goal with Tony as the holder. Before the kick went up, the ball slipped through Romo’s hands. As he picked it up and ran toward the end zone, he fell short of the first down and allowed Seattle to run out the clock resulting in a 20-21 loss.
And there are moments we will never forget:
5. The Debut
Tony Romo changed the face of the National Football League as he took the reins from Dallas’s previous quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, and he did it in a dramatic fashion. An undrafted passer out of Eastern Illinois, few had even heard his name. Starting in his first game as a professional, Romo led the 2006 Cowboys over the Carolina Panthers with a 35-14 win. He worked hard to prove himself from there on out and thus began the Romo era.
4. Chasing Perfection
In October of 2013, Tony Romo threw for 506 yards with five touchdowns against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. It goes down as one of the best games of his entire career, up until his last pass that was intercepted. Though the shootout ended in a 48-51 loss for the Cowboys, Romo put on an unbelievable performance and nearly hit the NFL’s single game passing record.
3. The Christmas Comeback
The 2013 Cowboys had two games left in the season and desperately needed wins in order to clinch a spot in the playoffs. Midway through the Christmas game against the Washington Redskins, Tony Romo suffered a back injury. Nonetheless, the quarterback returned to the game, played through the pain, and led Dallas to a phenomenal 24-23 win when he found DeMarco Murray for a fourth-down touchdown with only seconds remaining. His perseverance will forever be commended.
2. A Defiant Drive
Romo had a slow start in the 2015 season opener against the New York Giants. He returned with energy in the second half when he led two powerful drives down the field, including one that won the game in the final seconds. With one timeout, Romo led the team through the Giant defense until he found Jason Witten for the game-winning touchdown.
1. An Unforgettable Goodbye
Although a meaningless game in the standings, Romo came off the bench with ferocity for the final game of the 2016 regular season against the Philadelphia Eagles. In his last drive in the blue and silver, Tony took every moment as an opportunity to make his team proud. He led Dallas down the field and sealed his legacy as he found Terrance Williams for a touchdown.
Through the ugly and the unforgettable, Dallas will forever pride itself in one its greatest: Tony Romo. Here’s to looking forward to hearing number nine call out commentary from the booth.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons | MC Glasglow)