The most recent Cowboys loss, a heartbreaking affair suffered at the hands of the hated Giants was at sometimes painful and at other times exhilarating to watch. And though it dropped the Boys to 3-4 and 78 games behind the Giants in the NFC East race, it also perfectly encapsulated why I’m a Cowboys fan. More specifically it stood as a shining example of why I love Tony Romo. Full disclosure, I am at Eastern Illinois alum (Go Panthers!!) but that’s not why I’m a Romo fan, it’s not the rags to riches story of undrafted player making good either. The reason I am such a huge supporter of #9 is that he is an electrifying, maddening, exciting, nerve-racking football player who single handedly can win or lose a game in the blink of an eye. Much like the hot girl from the wrong side of the tracks, who’s just as likely to stab you as kiss you. With Romo you never know and I find the thrill of discovery fun to watch.
Last Sunday’s game was a beautiful illustration of this. Bad throws, picks, pick 6’s and poor clock management. But just as I am about to lose hope; laser precise throws, sack-saving scrambles and that wonderful improvisation that turns a loss into a first down. Romo embodies the team he quarterbacks; undeniable talent, a bit too much hype and very little production when it counts. That being said, the potential is what makes them so compelling. At this moment sitting at 3-4, the Cowboys have the ability to either run off five straight wins or lose the next five, there’s just no way to know. I believe that Rob Ryan has vastly improved the defense, the special teams are solid and there is a good mix of veterans and young players on the squad. The X factor in all of this remains Romo. When he is on the offense hums in a way that makes me believe we can beat anybody. He smiles, has a bit of swagger and his energy seems to flow through the whole team. At these times, the ceiling for the team seems to be the Super Bowl. Its these times that I obviously enjoy the most. As a fan I want to watch my team do well and it’s a nice feeling to listen to the folks on ESPN and NFL Network wax poetic about the great win. But just having the opportunity to watch Romo ply his trade to me is worth the ride because you truly never know what will happen. Sports is entertainment and the Cowboys are without a doubt entertaining.
Many fans might be irritated or maddened by this startling inconsistency, but when you put it in the context of who the Boys are it makes sense. Considering the team has an egomaniacal, money hungry owner, a crappy o-line, has had glorified coordinators as head coaches for the last several years and plays in a sterile, noiseless mega-mall, the current situation ain’t all that bad. Perhaps I’ve just been battered into accepting mediocrity after watching Romo quarterback for the last five years or maybe I’ve just settled into a zen phase of my life. Whatever the reason, I’m taking the Cowboys regardless of who they’re playing and I’m still anticipating Romo starting in the Super Bowl in New Orleans this year.