I’m no psychologist, but I am an, um, Observer. And, I dunno what exactly, but something’s up with Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo.
I mean, something other than a broken pinkie that will cause him to miss at least three games.
(Wade Phillips says his quarterback won't have surgery, and likened the situation to a week-to-week injury.)
You can’t really see it in his performance, as yesterday Romo fought off five fumbles to throw for 321 yards and three touchdowns. But you can’t help but see it in his dejected demeanor. His morose body language. His … his … lack of emotion.
Take the end of Sunday’s game. Thanks to Nick Folk’s dramatic 52-yard field goal, the Cowboys forced an improbable overtime against the Cardinals. On Dallas’ sideline coach Wade Phillips jumped up and down like an irrationally giddy fan. Terrell Owens bumped chests with Pacman Jones. Marion Barber pumped his fist.
But Romo? The quarterback – I’ve watched the TiVo three times to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing – reacted to the kick like George W. Bush upon having whispered in his ear on 9/11, “We're under attack … ”
With hat on backward and his left elbow propped up on the back on the team’s bench, Romo sat by himself with neither smile nor, really, even movement. He barely blinked. Eventually, he spit. He kinda stared into the distance, numb to the surrounding mosh pit.
If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was his team that coughed up the 10-point lead in the final two minutes.
Before the overtime kickoff, Romo slowly put on his helmet and began pacing, never looking up from the ground. He kept this posture all the way onto the field and into the huddle. On first down he was sacked and stripped, fortunate to recover his own fumble. On second down he one-hopped a throw to T.O. and on third he sent an wobbler well over Owens’ head to set up the final, fatal punt.
Obviously the pinkie was hurting more than we thought. But what else? Before that, even?
Has his 401k dissolved with the stock market plunge?
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Is Jessica pushing for marriage?
Is he simply trying to be more like cool, calculating Troy Aikman and less like jump-around dork Brett Favre?
FYI, I'm trying to get a rumor confirmed that Romo had lunch with Roger Staubach last week. Maybe it was a pep talk. Maybe business.
But whatever, something’s up. Guesses? – Richie Whitt