Cowboys Romo: What If Best Days Are Ahead?
The newsy Dallas Cowboys talk all offseason was almost completely centered around Tony Romo's back and whether or not it would hold up. The fact that Romo was consistently held out of practices at training camp had many fans feeling uneasy. ... even as the QB tried to convince folks otherwise.
"“I’m sure one day when I’m 45, the body will tell me I’m done playing,” Romo said one day in Oxnard. “But I feel personally like I’ve just started to come into the player that I wanted to be six, seven years ago. I think over the course of the next four or five years, you’ll see the best version of me that I’ve had throughout my career.''
But, after months of speculating, the worries of fans became a reality when Romo threw three interceptions in a sloppy performance vs the 49ers. It was clear that No. 9 was not himself. His mobility and footwork was off and his throws lacked zip and velocity. That's about when talk began that Tony Romo may never be the same. ("If only the Cowboys had drafted Johnny Football!")
However, a month later, Tony Romo is once again proving that he is one of the toughest, most resilient players in the NFL. After that ugly performance in Week 1 (1 TD, 3 INT's and a QB rating of 60.8) Tony Romo has thrown for 979 yards, 8 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, a completion % of 72.0 and a QB rating of 111.4. The Cowboys also happen to be 4-0 in that span.
The "best version of him''? Maybe it's about not having to be Houdini every week. Maybe it's in part about what Tony says might be a key to beating the defending-champ Seahawks this week ... "150 yards'' and "20 passes.''
Now, Romo is still being held out of practice on a consistent basis. The team has been sitting Romo on Wednesday's to do some work in the weight room, which Romo says has helped him a lot on game day (and it's shown in his play). Except now, instead of getting nervous when Romo doesn't practice, fans get excited (#RomoWednesday has actually been trending on Twitter) and as the Cowboys prepare for the Sunday visit at Seattle, there is plenty to get excited about.
Tony Romo has a QB rating of 98.5 and a completion percentage of 69.2 this season (both of which are the second highest of his career). He's also thrown fewer interceptions and more TD's than he did through the first five weeks of 2011, when he finished the season with 31 TD's and 10 interceptions. Another reason to get excited about Romo is that his pocket presence and escapability looks to be as sharp as ever. Just last week, Romo spun out of JJ Watt's arms (arguably the best defensive player in the NFL) and threw a 43-yard TD pass to Terrance Williams - a play that about 28 other QB's in the NFL wish that they could make.
One of the more surprising things we've seen from Tony this season is his running ability. Romo has always been the kind of QB who runs as a last resort. His eyes are always downfield, looking for an open target. However, when he has to run he's had some success. Against the Saints, on a broken play with nowhere to throw, Romo scrambled for a career long 21 yards. In fact, Tony is on pace for 109 yards this season, which would be the 2nd highest total of his career (he had 129 rushing yards in 2007). Not bad for a 34 year old quarterback coming off his second back surgery within the last 2 years.
Going off of his current stats, Romo is on pace for 29 TD's, 16 INT's and 4,032 yards- which aren't bad numbers. However, the fact that his TD's are on the rise and his interceptions are going down, those numbers could look a lot better by the end of the season. Tony Romo said this summer that he feels like his best football is still ahead of him - a comment that got some funny looks from fans and media alike.
However, by the way things are going now, Tony may be right after all.
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