Cowboys: This Is The Beginning Of The End For Romo

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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has become an injury prone player and his years might be numbered.

When undrafted rookie quarterback Tony Romo made the Dallas Cowboys roster in 2004, little was known about the quarterback from Eastern Illinois. He wasn’t expected to challenge incumbent stater Vinny Testaverde and his backup, Drew Henson. If anything, he was there to carry a clipboard and be an extra arm in training camp, nothing more, nothing less.

Basically, Romo was just a third stringer.

The following year in 2005, Romo became the primary backup quarterback to newly signed Drew Bledsoe. It seemed like Romo would remain a life long back up quarterback because Bledsoe was still thought to be in his prime and still a capable quarterback. However, in the 2005 preseason, Romo showed flashes of why he remained on the roster.

Romo displayed accuracy, a command of the offense and the raw athletic ability that Bledsoe clearly didn’t have.

During the 2006 preseason, there were whispers that the Cowboys had a legitimate back up quarterback because Romo was looking good. Of course, it was preseason but the coaching staff thought highly of him. Even Bledsoe admitted that if he slipped up, Romo could take his job.

Bledsoe’s fear came to fruition on a Monday night game against the New York Giants. Since Bledsoe was ineffective and threw an interception near the New York goal line, then-coach Bill Parcells pulled him in favor of Romo.

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Romo made his debut that night and showed the NFL and Cowboys Nation what a gifted quarterback he was. Immediately, everyone witnessed his poise, his instinct, his quarterback acumen, his athletic ability, and most importantly, his ability to make plays. In fact, the Cowboy played better as a team.

Although Romo would throw two touchdown passes and three interceptions in a losing effort, everyone knew the Cowboys had something special.

Romo would finish the season with an 6-5 record and lead the Cowboys into the playoffs. A painful loss to the Seattle Seahawks because of a mishandled snap didn’t deter Romo from being a ‘gun slinging’ quarterback.

Finally, the Cowboys had their franchise quarterback. Since Romo has been Dallas’ franchise quarterback, only good things have happened for them, in terms of having a Pro Bowl quarterback.

Romo has 25 fourth quarter comebacks and 30 game-winning drives, and he’s the Cowboys all-time passing leader (34,154 yards). Also, he has 80 victories and 247 passing touchdowns to boot. We witnessed him avoiding would-be tacklers and throwing awesome touchdown passes time and time again.

The only thing missing from Romo’s resume is a Super Bowl ring.

With his latest injury, I don’t believe Romo will ever get his ring, which he deserves more than any other quarterback not named Dan Marino or Dan Fouts.

Quite frankly, Romo has become injury prone, that forbidden label that all athletes are afraid of. This is Romo’s third time fracturing his clavicle and the second time he’s fractured it this season. In addition, he’s had two back surgeries, which has seemed to further limit his movement skills and perhaps his throwing velocity.

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Whenever Romo misses games, the Cowboys lose, and they lose consistently. That has been more than evident this year. The Cowboys had a seven-game losing streak from Week 2 through Week 9, but started all over again with a loss to the undefeated Carolina Panthers on Thanksgiving day.

That loss can be attributed to Romo leaving the game with a fractured clavicle and throwing three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns.

Although many people will disagree, this is the beginning of the end of Romo’s career. I’m not saying he’ll ride off into the sunset at the end of this season, but it’ll happen sooner than later.

Why do I believe that?

It’s very simple: Romo fractured his clavicle when a defensive linemen fell on top of him. It happened in the first game against the Philadelphia Eagles and then once again in the Panthers game.

How do you expect your franchise quarterback to continue to play the most important position in football if his body can’t sustain the fall of a 250 pound linebacker? What about 300 pound defensive linemen, In either case, Romo’s shoulder is exposed and the simple fact is that it’s not holding up.

Besides handing the ball off on every play, how can this be prevented from happening again?

I’m sure the correct answer is having an All Pro offensive line. The Cowboys have three first rounders and three Pro Bowlers on their offensive line right now. That’s a problem.

Further, Romo has a surgically repaired back. A back in this condition, combined with an oft injured clavicle, spells trouble. Romo can no longer shake the hard hits like he used to in his younger years, when he popped up after a hard hit and did his best Brett Fave impersonation. Worse yet, he can no longer evade these hazards of life in the NFL.

Those days are long gone and even the most ardent Cowboys fan knows it, even if he or she won’t admit it. Regardless if Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thinks Romo can play four or five more years, this is simply impossible to imagine.

Romo has missed significant playing time over the last few seasons and this is attributed to his back or clavicle, injuries that end players’ careers.

Once a player continues to get injured on a regular basis and miss significant time, the playing career is coming to an end. It’s that simple. It happens to the best of them.

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It happened to Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, who retired because of several concussions. Romo is no different. He may come back next year and lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl victory.

Or, Romo might take a hard hit and break his clavicle or injure his back.

That’s history speaking.