Tony Romo has finally shown the Dallas Cowboys the he is their “Fearless Leader”. Sunday’s game was almost the complete opposite of the week 1 meltdown against the Jets; The Cowboys played sub-par football for three quarters, but then found motivation and leadership in Tony Romo to come from behind and get the win.
After suffering a fractured rib on the third play of the game, Romo was taken out in the third quarter in favor of backup John Kitna. Although Kitna did throw a touchdown pass, he also threw two interceptions – things were looking bleak for the banged up Cowboys.
But then the cameras caught Romo on the sideline trying to find his helmet. He was determined to lead his team through this crisis, and that is the stuff of which leaders are made.
Tony Romo came back into the game late in the third quarter facing a 24-14 deficit. He answered the challenge by finishing 20-33 for 345 yards, two touchdowns, and a passer rating of 116.4
But perhaps his greatest show of leadership was when Romo was seen on the sidelines talking to receiver Jesse Holley. It should be noted that Holley was the winner of Michael Irvin’s reality show 4th and Long and as such he received an invitation to attend training camp in 2009. After two seasons on the practice squad, Holley made the 53 man active roster less than a month ago. He had never caught a pass in the NFL.
Then Tony Romo took Holley aside and calmly spoke to him about what was about to be expected of him. Romo was going to look to Holley to move the offense. Holley answered by catching two passes for 19 yards which helped to set up a field goal to send the game into overtime. Then, on the first play of the Cowboys’ overtime possession, Holley caught a pass for 77 yards taking the ball down to the 49’ers one yard line, setting up Dan Bailey’s 19 yard field goal to win the game.
(Speaking of Bailey, I am happy that he overcame the early miss in the first quarter and won the game for the Cowboys with two field goals. With that said, I think the other 52 active roster players should get to punch him in the crotch for missing a 21 yard field goal. That’s just weak dude. It shouldn’t give every Cowboys fan an ulcer when the kicker steps on the field from that short of a distance. That’s an extra point-length chip shot, you douche. . . Ok . . . I am finished with the negatives. . .Back to the love.)
The difference we saw in Tony Romo yesterday was poise. He remained calm and well paced. He was never in a rush and didn’t try to force anything. Plus, coming in and leading your team with a broken rib is a great way to get your team to step and follow you through any obstacle. We finally saw a real leader.
My hope is that Tony Romo now sees in himself what the rest of us have needed to see for years; the ability to lead his team and be a great quarterback. Hopefully he takes to this role and decides to run with it. The onus is on Romo to get the Cowboys to take that next big step and return to greatness.