By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Before getting injured, Romo was on pace to throw for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. He is still one of football's best ad-libbers, keeping plays alive with his mobility and keeping them positive with his creativity, as he did on a scrambling touchdown to tight end Jason Witten in the preseason. He has dangerous targets in receivers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, running back Felix Jones and Witten. In the off-season, he organized player workouts, got married to long-time girlfriend Candice Crawford and generally was the subject of no bad news.
If you listen closely, he hasn't even given up on a Super Bowl scenario for the Cowboys.
"My expectations don't lower," Romo says. "It rubs me the wrong way every day I go home if I don't feel as though I performed that day. From a team perspective, whenever I line up and put a jersey on I'm not out here to finish second place. I don't think I'm ever gonna go out here and be like, 'Well, expectations are lower, we're just hoping to be a pretty decent ball club.' That's not who I am. I think our expectations are still high."
Despite his undeniable skills, improved leadership and apparent maturity — hide and seek notwithstanding — the critics quick to write off the Cowboys this year also long to script the demise of Romo. Once upon a time the "same ol' Rangers" would never get to the World Series because of the heat. The "soft" Mavericks would never win an NBA championship with Dirk Nowitzki as their best player. Romo's stats "look good on paper," but ...
"I hear that, and I understand where it comes from, but I'm a big believer in Tony," Jones says. "If I had doubts about him and his ability ... I like this team. I really do. With Tony healthy and back to playing like we know he can, I think we can get to where I thought last year's team was going."
Still, it's out there. That urge to look over and say, Hey, Tony. Wait, shouldn't you be ...
I thought last year was Romo's make or break year. Wait a minute, he didhave a "break" last year. Get it? Hahahahahahahah.
Elite QB? If you count a top 15 league qb elite. He's maturing? He's becoming a leader? It's a bit late. Damn, the owner said it publicly, "making the team more Romo friendly." Which in terms says he didn't/wasn't controlling his huddle. Now the Cowboy's have a Leadership coach, that's where the leadership will come from with maybe some rubbing off on Romo.