SPECULATE no more, Tony Romo is done. After 13 years as an NFL quarterback the 36 year old has called time on his storied career. He is swapping the passer pocket for the broadcasting booth and in tribute of his stellar career, in which he set multiple NFL and Dallas Cowboys records, here is a timeline of #9’s finest and most memorable moments under center.
AFTER four years at Eastern Illinois University, Romo declared for the NFL draft. After going undrafted Dallas extended Romo an opportunity and signed him to add depth to the QB position.
ROMO spent ’04 and ’05 serving as the teams holder on placekicks as he continued to remain no higher than 2nd on the depth chart. He had impressed in pre season appearances to date, but hadn’t seen the field in the regular season yet. On October 23rd of ’06, Romo replaced then starter Drew Bledsoe to start the 2nd half of a game against the Giants. Romo finished the game with 227 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Heading into next week’s game head coach Bill Parcells confirmed that Romo would start against the Panthers. He went on to throw for nearly 3000 yards over his 10 starts earning him his first Pro Bowl selection. The Cowboys made the playoffs but lost the NFC Wild Card game against the Seattle Seahawks 21-20, after Romo botched a field goal hold and turned the ball over the Seattle on downs with 1:19 left on the clock.
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SEASON 2007 saw Romo earn the starting gig full time. He threw for over 4200 yards (good for 3rd that season) and 36 touchdowns (2nd only to Tom Brady). His play earned him a six year, $67.5 million dollar contract extension in October. His 2nd Pro Bowl appearance was highlighted by Romo breaking numerous Cowboys records including the first QB in franchise history to throw over 4000 yards and the most TD passes thrown by a Cowboys play caller. A 13-3 record matched the Cowboys up with the New York Giants in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Unfortunately for Romo the result was similar to the season prior with the Cowboys coming up short 17-21 to the eventual champion Giants.
A forgetful 2008 season which saw many questions raise about Romo’s ability to play in games of ‘significance’ saw Dallas miss the playoffs. 2009 however Romo was back to his brilliant best throwing for 4483 yards and a 26-9 touchdown-interception ratio (his fewest interceptions in a season to date). Another Pro Bowl nod (his 3rd in four years) after an 11-5 season saw Romo and the Cowboys square off against division rivals the Philadelphia Eagles. A 34-14 win gave Romo his first playoff win of his career and the Cowboys their first post season win in 13 years. It was short lived however, with Minnesota mauling the Cowboys next week 34-3.
THE next few seasons were forgetful for Romo. After starting 1-4 he broke his left clavicle against the Giants in Week 6 of 2010, shutting him out of action for the rest of the year. ’11, ’12 and ’13 comprised of three 8-8 seasons, 2012 was a great personal year for Romo who set career high in passing yards, passing attempts and passing completions. He did however, throw a career high 19 interceptions as well. In 2013 Romo signed another contract extension for six years and $108 million, thus tying him to Dallas for the remainder of his career.
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SEASON 2014 encapsulated Romo’s career in a nutshell almost. Week 1 saw him throw three interceptions in a depressing loss to the 49ers, but Romo did have a career best 113.2 passer rating on the season. They managed to defeat the defending champs Seattle on the road behind his veteran leadership, only the second team to win on the road in Seattle over a three year period. He did however injury his back in Week 8 which caused him to miss a game against the Washington Redskins the following week. Finishing the season with a 12-1 touchdwon-interception ratio over the final month of the season, Romo was elected to his 4th Pro Bowl and led the Cowboys back to the playoffs against the Detroit Lions. After a comeback 24-20 win despite being down 7-17 at halftime they squared off against the Green Bay Packers and MVP Aaron Rodgers. True to form Dallas fell short 26-21 ending another Cowboys season short of the SuperBowl.
THE start of the end was in sight for Romo after a broken left collarbone in Week 2 against the Eagles sidelined him for eight weeks. Returning ion Thanksgiving against the 10-0 Panthers, Romo threw three 1st half picks and in the 3rd quarter re-injured his left shoulder after being sacked. He missed the rest of the 2015 season as a result. 2016 got off to a bumpy start too, with Romo injuring his vertebrae in a pre-season game against Seattle. The Cowboys turned to rookie Dak Prescott at quarterback due to Romo’s injury, with the idea that when healthy Romo would return under center. However, Prescott’s stellar play (leading the Cowboys to a 9-1 record) before Romo’s return complicated the situation. Romo conceded his starting role to Prescott, appearing breifly as a back up in the regular season finale, with his final play a touchdown pass to Terrence Williams.
DESPITE the 13-3 Cowboys once again coming up short in the post season last year it is clear that Prescott is their QB of the future. Dallas announced that Romo would not be retained next year a few months ago and this led to speculation regarding his future. He was strongly linked to the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans as quarterback options, but declined to join them, opting for a career in broadcasting instead.
TONY Romo retires as the Cowboys career leader in passing touchdowns and passing yards and a slew of other awards. It would have been nice to see the 36 year old have one more crack at a SuperBowl appearance, but given his injury history and the number of miles on his body no-one can blame him for making this decision. Congratulations on a fantastic career Romo, you’ll be missed.
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