Eight Simple Things About Tony Romo

My Eight Simple Things pieces have generated a wee bit of controversy with opposing fans.  This is not really my intent.  I'm having fun and it's satire.  I've always said that the first person to always make fun of is yourself.

I am no stranger to making fun of myself and I think it's quite amusing.  There's nothing more ridiculous than the human complex, our personalities, our differences, and so forth, and why not take advantage of the opportunity to joke about said differences?  These differences between us aren't given to us as a chance to spread hate, they're given to us a chance to share stories about who we are.

If we were all the same, then life would surely be as boring and as pointless as Whitney.  

When you push the boundaries of what's acceptable, you open the door to what's possible.  I made some jokes about Eli Manning?  Cool, have you ever heard of Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst?  Those guys are our quarterbacks, and I'm surely not sticking up for Tarvaris as an elite QB.  I'm not even sticking up for Whitehurst as a football player.  There's a greater than zero chance that he lied on his resume when he applied for a job in the NFL.

Athletes are paid millions of dollars to play a sport and I cringe not at the thought of people joking about their follies, I cringe at the idea that we're supposedly not allowed to.  You put yourself at my mercy when you've been blessed with such an amazing opportunity.  I will not pity you and I will not hold back, because in the end, you have won.  

This isn't me lashing out because of bitterness that I'm not in your position, this is me profiling you for the betterment of Field Gulls readers.  If I can inform and entertain, then that's the only goal I have every time I write.  I so enjoy my own opportunity to write, that I wouldn't dare change my style for anybody else.  Believe it or not, I put my blood and sweat into this (don't lick your screen, that would be gross) and I'm not going to sacrifice a sliver of what I believe in just to stop now.

That being said... Holy shit do I really get to write about Tony Romo after all of these years?  

Well, let's be honest, who else would I write about?

Tony Romo was a Division I-AA Legend

As the Seahawks presumably will be looking for a quarterback of the future in next year's draft, some of the names you hear will be guys from smaller school or ones that are less known for football than any of the major programs.  As the starter of the Dallas Cowboys, and the look of a "Good ol' country boy," you would think that Romo would have gone to Texas or Oklahoma.

In many ways he has the look of a "big school quarterback," but in actuality he played at Eastern Illinois, a 12,000 student school in the Ohio Valley Conference.  The school actually does have a pipeline to the NFL, but not for players and definitely not for Pro Bowl quarterbacks.

That line is three NFL head coaches: Sean Payton of New Orleans, Mike Shanahan of Washington, and Brad Childress, formerly of Minnesota.  It also includes the recently deceased Mike Heimerdinger, former offensive coordinator of the Titans, Broncos, and Jets.  

Most importantly, John Malkovich went to Eastern Illinois, and that is the coolest damn thing you could ask for.

While at Eastern Illinois, Romo was a three-time OVC Player of the Year, a three-time All-American, and the first player in school history to win the Walter Peyton Award given to the best player in Division I-AA.  In many ways, he was one of the greatest football players in the history of the conference, which is not unlike being the funniest person on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.  

It's just not a title that will automatically get you respect, so...

Tony Romo was Undrafted

He was lucky enough to be invited to the 2003 NFL Combine, but despite doing some impressive things, no NFL thought him worthy of a draft selection.  There were two coaches that showed some serious interest in Romo though: Mike Shanahan and Sean Payton.  Surprised?

His two fellow alumni took a close look at the QB, but neither of them decided (or in the case of Payton, who was only an assistant to Bill Parcells in Dallas, just couldn't convince him at the time) to use a draft pick on Romo.

However, the Cowboys did end up signing Romo as an undrafted free agent and he sat behind Quincy Carter and Chad Hutchinson on the depth chart.  The next year he sat behind Vinny Testaverde and Drew Henson.  Finally, in his third season he was 2nd on the depth chart, this time behind Drew Bledsoe.  Like players such as Matt Schaub and Matt Hasselbeck, Romo was starting to gain a pre-season reputation as a guy that might be able to start in the NFL.

Rumor has it that when Payton took over the head coaching duties of the Saints in 2006, he pursued a trade for Tony Romo before New Orleans signed Drew Brees, but that Dallas wanted no less than a second round pick.  

So Parcells and the Cowboys held onto Romo, and that season would be the beginning of the "Legend of Tony Romo."   Emphasis on ""

He took over for an ineffective Drew Bledsoe on the 3-3 Cowboys in week eight and led them to a 35-14 win over Carolina on the road.  They'd lose a three-point heartbreaker on the road to Washington the next week, but then won four in a row.  

The Cowboys struggled down the stretch, but even at 9-7 they were able to win a Wild Card berth and make the playoffs for the first time since 2003 and only the second time since 1999.  

Then the real Legend of Tony Romo began....

Tony Romo is Like the World's Worst Deep Sea Diver, He Can't Handle Any Pressure.

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I don't think I've ever switched from happy to worried to "OMFGICANTBELIEVEIT" to REALLY WORRIED to "HOLY SHIT DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?" so quickly in my life.  The only word I can use to describe that 10 seconds is: Bipolarific.

January 6th, 2007.

The Seahawks were experiencing a mediocre season considering that these were the peak years of the franchise, but they became the first team in awhile to lose a Super Bowl and return to the playoffs the next year.

The Cowboys were the team of destiny under everybody's favorite new quarterback.

The game was intense, it was back and forth, it was decided on challenges and mistakes moreso than a single botched hold, though that was important.

Remember that the Cowboys scored the first touchdown of the game with only :11 remaining in the first half to take a 10-6 lead.  Remember that the Seahawks took a 13-10 lead in the second half on a touchdown pass to Jerramy Stevens, but the drive kept alive by two fourth-down conversions.  Remember that after the touchdown, Miles Austin returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown.  Remember that when the Hawks had a chance to take the lead back, Terrance Newman intercepted Hasselbeck, and later Martin Gramatica put the Cowboys ahead 20-13.  

Remember that the Hawks drove to the Dallas one yard line on a pass interference penalty, but turned it over on downs when they failed to score.  That on the next play, Terry Glenn fumbled a pass in the end zone, which was recovered by Seattle and ruled a touchdown, but then overturned and ruled a safety.  That after Hasselbeck hit Stevens for his second score of the day, Seattle failed on a two-point conversion that would have given them a three-point lead.  

The most important play of all wasn't the botched hold, it was perhaps the play right before that.  Jason Witten had a first down at the Seattle one yard line with a little over a minute left, and the Cowboys down 21-20.  If they get that first down, the ball game is in all likelihood over.  But the call is reviewed, and Witten is ruled short of a first down.  

What Tony Romo would do next is something Seattle and Dallas fans will never forget.  I remember at that moment when they lined up for the kick, I was unable to watch.  I was like a frightened child watching a scary movie; for the first time in my life, I couldn't handle the pressure. I "Romo'd" it.  

Then I heard my friends go nuts and I looked up, then I saw Romo with what I thought was a clear path to the end zone, and I shut my eyes again.

It was so unbelievable, so incredible, so gut-wrenching, and so lucky.  I'll take luck every day of the week and a hundred thousand times on Sunday.  Chiefs fans don't give a crap that Philip Rivers doesn't know what it feels like to have a football in his hands on a snap, they only care that they won the game.  I only care that we won the game.  Having a scapegoat to laugh at, only makes it that much more hilarious.  

It's cool to win when you do something right.  It's funny to win when the other team does something stupid.  Either way, it feels just as good.

From there on out, Romo didn't gain the reputation he was hoping for: Great for most of the regular season, terrible in December and in the playoffs.  

In his first year as starter, the Cowboys went 13-3, with their only losses coming to undefeated New England, Philadelphia, and a meaningless week 17 loss to the Redskins.  

With a first round bye and homefield advantage, they lost to the rival New York Giants 21-17.  Romo was 18 of 36 for 201 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.  Over the last three games of the season, plus that game against the Giants, Romo was 66 of 130 (50.7%), 5.83 yards per attempt, with 2 TDs and 6 INTs.  

The next year, the Cowboys were 8-4 after twelve games and poised to make the playoffs for a third straight year, but they lost three of their last four games and Romo was 84 of 150 (56%) for 222 yards per game, 5.93 yards per attempt, and 5 TDs against 6 INTs.

Things got better in 2009.  The Cowboys won their final three games of the year when they needed to and Romo was brilliant.   He won his first career playoff game, a wild card victory over Philadelphia.  However, in the divisional round the Cowboys got blown out by Minnesota 34-3.  

So, are things on the right track for Romo?  Who knows.

Last season, the Cowboys started 1-5, partly because Romo threw costly interceptions in games they were winning against Tennessee and Minnesota.  He broke his left clavicle and was place on IR after a loss to the Giants.  

This season, Romo isn't erasing any doubts about his inability to win the big game.  He threw a game-losing interception to the Jets in week one.  He threw three second-half interceptions to the Lions in week four, a game that Dallas was cruising in.  Dallas scored 16 points against the Patriots after their bye week, the lowest points total that any team has scored against New England this season.  The Cowboys played brilliant defense, but they fell to 2-3.  

Now at 3-4, Tony Romo and the Cowboys have a lot of work to do in order to return to the playoffs, and it's not as if Romo doesn't have some amazing weapons..

Tony Romo Has Some Amazing Weapons

The most talked about unit on the Seahawks defense has to be the cornerbacks, just because of how unfortunate they've been with injury and how young they are because of it.

Last week, Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman, and the less talked about guys like Kennard Cox, had to face off against a decent, albeit young, wide receiver group from Cincinnati.  This week, the players they have to stop are more experienced, more talented, and diverse.

Miles Austin is another undrafted player who became a star for Dallas.  Despite going to powerhouse Monmouth University, nobody selected Austin in the 2006 draft.  He signed with Dallas, and started making some noise on kick returns, especially after that playoff game in Seattle.  In 2009, he began to get more play as a wide receiver, and when he replaced an injured Roy Williams against Kansas City, he caught 10 passes for 250 yards, a Dallas record.

Since that time, he's averaged 5 catches for 78 yards over 35 games, with 22 touchdowns.  His production is wildly inconsistent however.  Last season he went over 100 yards five times, but was under 50 yards nine times.  Still dangerous, Austin can go the distance at any moment.  He's the most targeted wide receiver in Dallas, despite missing two games.  He's seen 42 targets and has 26 catches for 350 yards and four touchdowns.

The most exciting player in Dallas might be second-year player Dez Bryant.  Considered one of the top high school players in the country, he chose to go to Oklahoma State.  After a brilliant career there, he entered his name into the 2010 NFL draft, and slipped to the Cowboys at 24 where Dallas traded up to select him.

Bryant is fast (4.52 40) and is the deep threat option for Romo.  He has seen 38 targets in six games, catching 22 passes for 367 yards.  26.3% of his targets go for over 15 yards and he averaged 9.7 yards per target, 20th in the NFL.  

Jason Witten is the veteran that everybody knows about.  He's the second most targeted tight end in the NFL, with 64 passes thrown his way.  He's caught 40 of those for 477 yards and three scores.  He's catching 62.5% of his targets, which is the lowest percentage of his career, but seeing 24.8% of all targets is the highest percentage of his career.

Witten will provide a real test for our linebackers on Sunday.

Finally, a player that the NFC West should be familiar with is making a lot of noise in Dallas this year.  Laurent Robinson spent last season with St. Louis after being drafted in the third round by the Falcons in 2007.  Coming into the year, he had one career 100-yard game, but when the Cowboys needed someone to step up for an injured Bryant and/or Austin, Robinson became a favorite of Romo.

He already has two 100-yard games this season and in five games total he has 19 catches for 336 yards and a touchdown.  He has 28 yargets, catching 67.9% of those and 17.9% of those going for over 15 yards.  He has an exceptional 12 yards per target, and if you saw the Cowboys get smoked by the Eagles on Sunday night, you would have seen him nearly make one of those most incredible circus catches of all-time, only barely touching the sideline.

It seems like Romo forgot about his other wide receivers in that game, and I don't know if that's because of the Eagles defense, or because he really was feeling good about Robinson, but I'm sure we'll hear his name a few times this week.

Tony Romo's Name Rhymes with a Derogatory Word, and I Thank You Not To Use It

You're better than that.  We're better than that.  

I'm proud of this blog and the people who comment here.  Let's not lowest-common-denominator a player who has so much more to make fun of.  Be clever.  If your only insult to Romo is that his name rhymes with that word, then the terrorists win. 

If you want to make fun of his name, try something different.

For instance:

"Como?"

Did you know that Tony Romo's father is Mexican?  When Romo throws another interception to lose a game that the Cowboys should win, or muffs a hold, the entire native country of his father says together: "COMO?!"

"KOMO"

Because maybe you're not a fan of Dan Lewis, Kathi Goertzen, and Steve Pool, and Holy-Shit-They-Still-Work-There?

I feel like that's been the news team since before I was born.  I can tell you that I was a broadcast major at Washington State, and I never once tried to actually get into news broadcasting because I can't think of a harder job to actually break into.  That's why I chose to pursue a movie career instead.  Good logic, huh?

"Domo"

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Those guys chasing after that kitty are the mascot of the Japanese television station NHK, and the mascot is named "Domo"

I don't know why they are chasing after that kitty, but what the hell is wrong with you Tony "Domo"?

When I was much younger and thought I was very clever, I once wrote an article titled "Romo Arigato, Mr. Choke-Arto."  Oh, to be 25 again.

"BOMO"

Urban Dictionary defines "BOMO" as: Blackout Makeout.

If you're not a drinker, then you've escaped the BoMo throughout your life, and thank your lucky stars.  Nothing good ever comes of a BoMo.  It's always regrettable the next day, whether you liked the person or not.  You never make a good decision when you're drunk, that's just a scientific fact.  A sober makeout session, or a "SoMo," is always the way to go.  Maybe a buzzed session, or a "BuMo," is acceptable too, but try to avoid BOMOs.  

What do you think Tony?

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"Fomo" is the "Fear Of Missing Out."  Something Tony Romo and the Super Bowl go hand in hand with.

"Nomo" could refer to Hideo Nomo, a pitcher who excelled in the regular season for much of his career, but failed badly in his only two playoff starts.  

"WoMo" could refer to a "Working Mom."  As the son of a single mom, I would have nothing bad to say about a WoMo and therefore wouldn't refer to Romo in this way, but maybe you're the devil.

Either way, there are a lot of rhymes to go with Tony Romo's name.  Don't take the easy, and immature, way out.

Tony Romo Is a Mexican-American NFL Player

In baseball, you'll find no shortage of players with Mexican or Latin heritage.  Because baseball is prevalent in South America, it's just an ongoing pipeline of players coming into the minor and major leagues.  

While futbol is very popular over the border, American Football is not.  You won't find a bunch of teams, or kids growing up throwing the pigskin around for fun, or touchdown dances.  I'm sure that with more time that will change, as the NFL is the greatest professional sport in the U.S., but as of now, there is no pipeline from Mexico to America for football.

Still, there are quite a few NFL players of Mexican heritage, and most of them come as a complete surprise to me.

Number one is Antonio Ramiro Romo, a guy who has that country boy look and dimples as American as apple pie.  Maybe the dimples should give it away, as the only man I've seen with more prominent ones is A.C. Slater, also a Mexican-American.

How about another QB to come from nowhere to go to the Pro Bowl: Marc Bulger.  Who would have guessed?

Better yet, who would have guessed that former Seahawks quarterback J.P. Losman was of Mexican descent?  Not only did he pose as an NFL quarterback, he posed as a white guy.

Jeff Garcia and Mark Sanchez should be obvious, as there is no more A.C. Slater-like player than Sanchez.  Even his best bud on the team is named "Dustin."  

Former linebacker Donnie Edwards is of Mexican-American descent, and I would have sworn he was of Islander heritage.

The point being, don't judge a book by it's cover.  Judge it by how many game-losing interceptions it throws.

Tony Romo is the Answer to the Dallas QB Woes.  Or is He?

I would be curious to know what Dallas fans actually think of this.  Romo's statistics are undoubtable, but everything else about him seems to be clouded in nothing but doubt.

There is no more scrutinized position in the NFL than being the quarterback of the Cowboys.  It's not a job everybody can handle, it's a job few people have ever controlled with ease.

Tom Landry coached the Cowboys for the first 29 years of their existence, and helped turn them into "America's Team."  Dallas made the playoffs 18 times during a 20 year stretch under Landry, and Roger Staubach set the standard for what it took to be a Cowboys quarterback.  

Which is kind of bullshit when you think about it, because Staubach won the Heisman trophy at Navy and then was drafted to go play in the NFL but had to serve out his duty with the Navy before he could play professionally.  Which is fine, except that he also chose to go to Vietnam in 1967, when he didn't have to.

Then in his first full season as a starter with Dallas in 1971, he went a perfect 10-0 in the regular season and then led them to a Super Bowl victory.  

Trying to live up to being the "Dallas QB" is like being the younger brother of a U.S. President.  Most likely, every QB for Dallas will end up being Jeb Bush.

Staubach is a Hall of Famer and a two-time Super Bowl champion.  Who could ever hope to match that?

Well, I don't think it's a spoiler alert to tell you that after Landry retired in 1989, and when the Cowboys were at their lowest since the very beginning, they drafted Troy Aikman with the #1 pick.  

Between 1992 and 1995, Aikman went 10-1 in the playoffs and won three Super Bowls. He is also in the Hall of Fame.   

The funny thing is that if you look at it statistically, Romo is on his way to being the best quarterback in Dallas history:

His completion percentage of 63.9% is the highest in Dallas history (minimum 500 attempts) 

His yards per game of 251.5 is first, while Troy Aikman was just under 200 yards per game.

His 94.9 QB rating is first, while Aikman's career rating was 81.6.

He is only 36 touchdowns behind Troy Aikman for the all-time Dallas lead, and he's played in less than half as many games.  

If numbers were the only thing that guaranteed you a job in Dallas, Romo would be set for life.  But a 1-3 playoff record in four full seasons of play won't get you very far.  Not when you have to live up to two of the most legendary playoff quarterbacks ever.  Even as a legend at Eastern Illinois, Romo was 0-3 in the Division I-AA playoffs.

For now, you can only compare Romo to Danny White, the Cowboys quarterback from 1980-1987 who put up very good numbers and made the playoffs five times, only to go 5-5 when he got to the postseason and never winning a Super Bowl.  

Tony Romo Has a Website, and it Makes Me Laugh

Here is a plug for Tony Romo's Website: www.tonyromo9.com

Why do I like this website?

For less than $100! (+shipping and handling) you can join "Tony's Team!"

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Okay, Tony.  I can't fault you for that.  Make that money.  $67.5 million + endorsements can only go so far.

It doesn't matter what this following award is for, based on the name, it totally belongs to Romo:

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America's long national nightmare is now over:

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Thank God it's finally open!  I hope they have reasonable hours!  I would hate to stand in front of it all night waiting, like its a Payless Shoesource.

Romo also likes to keep up with whats relevant: 

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The next long national nightmare begins.  

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When will we finally be able to upload pictures to the internet with ease?!?!?!

Or links!

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Again, that's www.tonyromo9.com

Finally, my favorite part of the website is located in the bio.  Read the whole thing and you'll be entertained, but it's the final sentence that really warms the heart of any mom.

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In case that came out too small: "Today Tony works with his teammates toward the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl Championship."

And more good news, Mrs. Romo is bringing the orange slices after the game.

 

Follow me on twitter @casetines

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