Dallas Cowboys Fans Should Be Thankful for Tony Romo

Justin BonnemaContributor IIJanuary 3, 2013

Dec 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) watches a play while on the sidelines during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium. The Saints beat the Cowboys 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

You’ve got to be kidding me.

That was the general reaction from Dallas Cowboys fans last Sunday night. Their season came to an end at approximately 11:15 p.m. ET when Tony Romo lobbed a ball toward the left sideline that was easily intercepted.

The resounding slap of a nationwide face-palm could be heard via the timelines of Twitter as 22 million people watched America’s Team fall 28-18 to the Washington Redskins.

Indeed, it was the most Romo-tastic way the Cowboys could have lost. With the season on the line, three minutes left on the clock and only three points needed to stay alive, Romo throws an interception on first down and reloads his critics.

Make no mistake about it, he wasn’t the only reason they lost—just the biggest reason. Sure, we can blame the defense for giving up nearly 300 rushing yards and we can point fingers at the play-calling, but in the end, none of that matters if the quarterback throws a late interception and sets up the opposition with great field position.

So, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. There’s no question it takes a team effort to win, but it’s often the individual mistakes that lead to losses.  

Still, we can’t crucify Romo for his mistakes without also praising his heroic performances. He is, after all, one of the only reasons the Cowboys were even in position to at least force a Week 17 playoff game—and the main reason they were in position to at least tie that game.

If you think the Cowboys would be better off without him, then you might want to have your eyes checked. There are plenty of problems on this team, and the quarterback position is not one of them.

If you want to see a fanbase that has had to endure a collection of terrible quarterbacks, talk to Redskins fans. There’s a reason why this is their first division title in 13 years. It’s funny, now they have a quarterback who has the highest selling jersey of the season. Meanwhile, the Cowboys fans are burning their jerseys.

What an ungrateful and uneducated display of mutiny. I can only hope the fans in those videos weren’t just suspending their communion with Tony Romo; I hope it means they’ll cheer for another team. There’s no room for that lack of commitment, and they should be ashamed of themselves for embarrassing the rest of us.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the frustration. Romo’s tenure has been one giant tease after another. It seems like just about the time we’re pronouncing this team dead, he drags them back to life and gets our hearts pumping with hope. Then, in the biggest of moments, on the biggest of stages, he shrinks in front of our very eyes. He disappears altogether.

The ledge is ours and ours alone, and I’ve seen plenty of fans make the jump.

This team isn’t for everybody. It may seem like it with the national appeal, big-time stadium, all-time greats and the everlasting burden of being America’s Team. No, those all just a part of the spectacle that longtime fans have learned to live with and future fans will come to appreciate. The hype around the star will always overshadow the on-field accomplishments.

If you’re going to be a fan, it’s probably best that you prepare yourself for living on the edge. Because that’s precisely how Tony Romo plays, and this team lives and dies with his performances. And he’s going to be around here for a while. Be thankful for that. Don’t take it for granted.

Feeling bad for yourself? Go look up the last seven years of the Jaguars, Bills, Titans, Cardinals, Vikings, Browns, Dolphins, Chiefs, Bears, Seahawks, Buccaneers, 49ers, Rams, Raiders, Lions, Broncos and up until Sunday night, the Redskins. Then come talk to me about how Romo, a quarterback that's never had a losing record, needs to be replaced.