by SERGIO MADRID//Editorial Assistant
Underdog. Undrafted. Underappreciated. Underrated. And maybe still underestimated.
The Cowboys have yet to release former starting quarterback Tony Romo, probably holding out for the right deal to be made before the draft. But Romo’s time in Dallas is likely nearing an end.
Growing up Hispanic, you learn to deal with the inevitable. Your sisters are going to watch Selena a million times over, and neither God nor you can do anything about it. When you’re the only boy in the family, your best hope is to have a good male role model to save you from an estrogen-infested home. Lucky for me, I had a couple of uncles to do just that.
My uncles would pick me up, or throw a cookout, and put on the game. More often than not, it was a Dallas Cowboy game.
Another thing about being Hispanic, you have a shortage of guys to idolize and look up to, especially when your favorite sport is football. So, for me, being able to watch a guy such as Romo lead the Cowboys on Sundays was a pretty big deal.
Romo was quick to reach rock star status. Of course, it’s not very hard to do when you’re the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and you date women the caliber of Carrie Underwood and Jessica Simpson. Even if you’re not a fan, according to guy-code, you’re kind of forced to respect the guy.
But it is not his dating career that makes Romo such a well-respected man in the sports world. It is his heart and commitment to every guy who has shared the field with him.
Romo is, and always has been, a selfless player. He would rather die trying to win the game than sit out one play. So many times Romo went down, only to get back up and save the day with one of his famous, and sometimes not so famous, game-ending drives.
His toughness is a big attribute to his amazing play, though it was also his undoing as Romo has suffered many unfortunate injuries during his career. None sting as much as the collarbone fracture he suffered during a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks last year.
Romo got his shot at starting quarterback through an injury to Drew Bledsoe, where he came in and showed that he gave the Cowboys a better chance to win. It would also be the way he was dethroned by an impressive third-round draft pick from Mississippi Sate.
Dak Prescott, like Romo, was unexpectedly impressive. He played at a veteran level as a rookie and held himself as a true professional. On top of that, Prescott led the Cowboys to a divisional-round showdown against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, the best game of the 2017 NFL playoffs.
Lately, the big talk surrounding Dallas has been their impressive offensive line. But it wasn’t always so. In fact, Romo was one of the voices that convinced Jerry Jones to start using first-round draft picks on linemen to protect him.
Romo spent so many years running for his life and doing everything he could to singlehandedly lead his team to many late-game victories. Now Dallas has a suitable offense, a defense on the rise, and a formidable coaching staff, which is a formula for success in the NFL.
It must be a bitter taste for a competitive guy such as Romo to watch a franchise he’s carried for so long finally get all the pieces to the puzzle, then not be able to fit in the overall picture.
Romo is certainly not a man without his faults. He plays big, so you can expect a lot of good, and just as much bad, from him. In no way am I trying to take anything away from true Cowboy legends Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, two Super Bowl champions who did so much for the franchise. But Romo is the quarterback I grew up watching. To know he will soon be leaving Dallas burns a bit.
Romo is the most exciting, most spontaneous, most courageous player I have ever seen play the game. Wherever he ends up next, I’m sure he’ll do the same. Despite what the naysayers may think, that’s my quarterback.