The Tony Romo era is over. Barring an injury to Dak Prescott, the Cowboys' most decorated quarterback is not likely to play in front of the fans he's thrilled and infuriated over the last decade.
Romo has been a Rorschach test throughout his tenure at the helm of the Cowboys offense. His apologists said he never had the supporting cast to achieve success in the playoffs, while his detractors called him a choke artist especially in must-win games.
Although he never played in an NFC championship game, Romo was part of a bunch of iconic Cowboys moments since 2006. Let's relive some of those good times.
10. Establishing himself as a magician for the first time: One of Romo's best attributes as a passer is his ability to escape seemingly impossible situations. The earliest and best example of his elusiveness came early in the 2007 season against the Rams. With the teams tied 7-7 just before halftime, Romo saw a snap from center Andre Gurode sail over his head. Romo chased the errant snap, bobbled it, picked it up facing his own end zone and then scrambled through the Ram defense for a first down. The Cowboys went on to score a touchdown on the drive and beat St. Louis on the way to a 5-0 start.
My favorite Romo play. Ever. pic.twitter.com/tT7uj45EBu— ? DCBlueStar ? (@DCBlueStar) November 16, 2016
9. Carving the Buccaneers on Thanksgiving: Tony Romo's first Thanksgiving game as a starter was legendary. After falling behind the Bucs 7-0, Romo pitched five touchdown passes on the afternoon, leading the Cowboys to a 35-10 victory and squarely placing his team in a playoff race that seemed to have passed them by just a few weeks prior. 8. Almost outdueling Peyton Manning in Arlington: The Denver Broncos came into their 2013 game with the Cowboys riding high. They were 4-0, widely considered the best team in football and nine-point favorites over the 2-2 Cowboys. The Cowboys jumped out to 14-0 lead in the first quarter, and Romo preceded to have the game of his life, throwing for 509 yards and five touchdowns. Manning got the last laugh, though, when, with the game tied 48-48, Romo threw an interception deep in Cowboys territory, setting up a chip-shot field goal for the Broncos on the last play of the game. 7. Beating the Redskins with a broken back: Facing elimination from the playoffs during the next to last game of the 2013 season, Romo threw a last-minute touchdown in Washington to beat the Redskins, 24-23. After the game, team doctors discovered that the fourth quarter injury Romo played through was actually a broken back. Romo was forced to missed the Cowboys season finale and the Kyle Orton-led Cowboys lost a do-or-die game against the Eagles 24-22.
6. Opening 2015 with a bang: Trailing the Giants 26-20 with less than 1:30 left in the 2015 season opener, the Cowboys got the ball at their own 28. Romo led the team the length of the field, tossing a game winning touchdown to Jason Witten with 11 seconds left. It was an iconic moment at the beginning of what would end up being a disastrous season. Romo broke his collarbone the next week against the Eagles, and the Cowboys went 4-12.
5. Cementing the Cowboys as the NFC's best against the Packers: Heading into their late November showdown with the Packers in 2007, the Cowboys were 10-1 and appeared poised to make a deep run in the playoffs. The Packers, also 10-1, were the only thing standing between the Cowboys and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Romo's three first half touchdowns paced the Cowboys to a 27-17 halftime lead, and they cruised to an easy 37-27 win.
4. Setting the Cowboys record for passing touchdowns: Romo's 166th passing touchdown — a stylish, scrambling 17-yarder to Dez Bryant against the Eagles in 2012 — broke hall-of-famer Troy Aikman's club record. 3. Becoming the most prolific passer in Cowboys history: Two years after setting the Cowboys touchdown record, Romo set the team's yardage record as well. The record breaker was a 25-yard, third quarter touchdown to Romo's friend, tight end Jason Witten, and couldn't have been more appropriate. 2. Getting that playoff monkey off his back: Romo finally won a playoff game after his third full season in 2009. Following an 11-5 regular season, Romo led the NFC Champion Cowboys to a 34-14 demolition of the Eagles. The Cowboys would go on to get smacked down the next week by the Vikings, losing 34-3 in the divisional round.
1. Leading a stirring playoff comeback against the Lions: Armed with his best supporting cast, Romo led the 2014 Cowboys to a 12-4 regular season record despite missing a game and a half mid-season. Faced with a 20-17 deficit late in the fourth quarter, Romo led the Cowboys on a game-winning drive featuring a crucial 4th-and-6 converting pass to Witten.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.