DALLAS - Tony Romo's time as quarterback of America's team is over. After over a decade of taking snaps while donning the star on his helmet, Romo announced Tuesday he is retiring to become the lead NFL analyst at CBS.
This all comes just months removed from a strangely successful 2016 season that ended with the Cowboys finishing with the best record in the NFC under the guidance of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.
It was certainly a whirlwind for Romo, who still had three seasons remaining on his $108M contract. After injuring his back in the preseason last year, Romo had every intention in the world on returning – except no one thought Prescott would play as well as he did.
Even though the Romo era is over in Dallas, there are plenty of fond memories Cowboys fans have to remember him by.
To bid adieu to No. 9, here are my top 5 Tony Romo moments in Cowboys history.
#5 The juke
Trailing 7-3 against the in-state rival Houston Texans in 2014, Romo had the Cowboys driving near midfield. On 2nd and 4 with 6:18 remaining in the third quarter, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt came storming around left tackle Tyron Smith for what looked like a sack.
Only Romo had other ideas.
Sensing the pressure, Romo spun away and eluded Watt before slinging a 50-yard bomb to Terrance Williams that was hauled in for a touchdown to give the Cowboys the lead.
Even Watt remembers the play somewhat fondly.
#4 The four-yard run
The year was 2007, and Romo was doing battle with the St. Louis Rams inside Texas Stadium. Facing a short 3rd and 3 near midfield, Romo watched as the snap sailed 20 yards over his head.
After kicking the ball 10 more yards, Romo finally recovered and made three defenders miss –
including a linebacker in the open field – while he scrambled more than 40 yards for a four-yard gain to pick up the first down.
Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Harry Houdi – err Tony Romo!
#3 The broken back comeback
In a must-win Week 16 game against the Washington Redskins to force another must-win game in Week 17 against the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East title in 2013, Romo came through in the waning moments despite suffering a herniated disc in his lower back.
On an ugly, rainy day in D.C., Romo marched the Cowboys down the field in the final two minutes trailing 23-17. After heaving the ball to Terrance Williams for a 50+ yard gain, Romo faced a fourth down from inside the Washington 10-yard line with the season on the line.
He escaped pressure, stepped up in the pocket and fired a check down pass to DeMarco Murray for the game-winning touchdown to keep Dallas' playoff hopes alive.
#2 Playoff magic
Never let it be said that Romo couldn't get it done in the playoffs.
After falling down 14-0 to the visiting Detroit Lions in the Wild Card round in 2014, Romo led the Cowboys on a furious comeback. He hooked up with Terrance Williams twice, once on a 60+ yard catch and run for a touchdown and then later in the fourth quarter for the game-winner.
Romo withstood countless hits throughout the game and a Lions team determined to play spoiler. In the end, Romo and the Cowboys had the last laugh when he found Williams in the back of the endzone to send Dallas to Green Bay.
#1 Stepping down
When the 2016 season began, Dallas fans everywhere collectively held their breath when Romo went down in the preseason with another back injury. At the time, Kellen Moore was No. 2 on the depth chart and a guy named Dak Prescott was No. 3.
But Moore got injured next week in camp, which opened the door for Prescott. And he ran with the opportunity.
After losing the first game of the season to the New York Giants, Prescott and the Cowboys rattled off a franchise record 11 straight wins – which kept Romo on the bench.
During the winning streak, Romo held a press conference and announced Prescott had earned the right to be the quarterback of the team. We only saw Romo one time this season, in Week 17 against the Eagles when he threw what could have been the final touchdown pass of his career.
Romo's move to publicly support Prescott and take the spotlight off him was one of the classiest things I have seen in over two decades of watching professional sports, and deserves to be the No. 1 Tony Romo moment in history.
May retirement treat you well, Tony.
What are your favorite Tony Romo memories? Share 'em with Reece on Twitter @ReeceWaddell15.
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