Letter to Romo
Dear Tony Romo,
For Cowboys fans like myself, your name brings out so many emotions, that range from deep anger to jubilation. When Bill Parcells decided to put you on the field in 2006, I didn't expect the emotional roller coaster you would put me through for the next ten seasons.
When the Cowboys announced Wednesday that they were going to release you, per your request, I didn't have an initial reaction. Maybe it's because I'm still pissed about Aaron Rodgers pass to whatever that guy name is, to set up the field goal to end our season, but I digress. Everyone that knows me, know I bleed blue and silver, been that way since 1995, so when word got out that you were no longer going to sport a #9 Cowboys jersey, the phones calls came in.
"They're releasing your boy Romo, how do you feel about that?"
Surprisingly enough, you have been my boy. I've supported you and defended you. I've been in countless debates on why you were the right guy to lead us back to glory. I watched you turn bad plays into exciting moments. Thanksgiving Day 2006 was the day I put my trust into you. You threw five touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That game is why I stuck with you season after season.
And how could you blame me? After Aikman walked into the sunset in 2000, it was years of despair at the quarterback position. I went through years with Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson, a 41-year old Vinny Testaverde, and an end-of-the-road Drew Bledsoe. It was a major contrast from the days of the Triplets and the teams of the 90s, but you seemed to be the one that was going to bring that excited back after your 10-game run in 2006. You were the one that Cowboys Nations was going to ride.
Then came the debauchery in Seattle.
Seriously, what happened? Was the ball slippery or were you just nervous? I remember vividly watching you drop the snap, pick it up, race to the end zone, only to be tripped up one yard short of the end zone.
That play essentially defined your career as a Dallas Cowboy. It seemed to be a demon that you were never able to shake. Some of your greatest seasons all ended with your worst moments. In 2007 you led us to a 13-3 record and threw for 4,122 yards and 36 touchdowns, but a red zone interception ended our season in the Divisional round to the New York Giants (who went on to beat the undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl). In 2009, you led us to our first playoff win since 1996 with 34-14 win over the Eagles. The following week you finished with 3 turnovers in a 34-3 loss to the Vikings.
The one that hurts the most is the 2012 season finale loss to the Redskins. I was in attendance. I sat through the cold weather behind enemy lines, cheering and hoping for you to outplay the hobbled rookie, Robert Griffin III. All the Skin's fans around me were telling me that you were going to "fuck up", that you were going to let me down. I blocked it all.
Then the fourth quarter happened. We're down 18-21 with 3:06 remaining in the game. You threw a crucial interception that gave the Redskins great field position to go up by two possessions. We missed the playoffs and it was another moment in your career.
I always describe your career as the worst plays at the worst moments, but I don't blame our playoff woes solely on you. In each of those bad moments that plagued your career, I can think of other players and coaches that had bad moments in those same games. I always thought there was too much pressure placed on you to win the big games. A lot of the criticism you received, I thought was unfair, but after that Redskins game, I couldn't defend you anymore.
Despite your faults, I can't leave you out of the history of the Cowboys. Your numbers are self-explanatory and have to be respected. Without the rings, you're still in the conversation with some of the greatest Cowboys ever. I hate to see your era as starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys have to end this way, but remember, your career benefited from another player's injury. Wherever you go, I wish you the best of luck. I hope you go somewhere you can prove to people that you are one of the elites in this era. And I wouldn't mind seeing you go to a rival contender in the NFC, cause I know, you're good for at least one bad play.