What started out as a kooky idea, something downright “embarrassing” as Tony Romo described it, turned into a really fun night for the quarterback, fans of the Dallas Cowboys, and the Dallas Mavericks. Romo suited up for an NBA team, not to play, but to get some closure and a standing ovation. Those were things he never got to experience with the Cowboys.
Now that the silliness (even though it turned out to be pretty cool) is over with, we can get back to football. Even though Romo hasn’t officially turned in his retirement papers, this should be the end of the saga. Unless, of course, Dak Prescott suffers a serious injury before the season begins, then the circus might be back in town.
One of the people who attended game on Tuesday to support “9,” as they kept putting on social media, was none other than head coach Jason Garrett. Ironically, it was Garrett who has been the most distant throughout the process with Romo, prompting most to suggest there was a rift between the two. Romo has rarely spoken about Garrett in the past week and we didn’t hear much from the coach on his star pupil, besides the small statement he put out after the retirement/release.
The two used to be very close, so what gives?
Perhaps Romo felt there wasn’t enough support from Garrett during the season when Prescott took over. Perhaps it was because Garrett felt blindsided by Romo’s impromptu speech in November about stepping aside for Dak. Maybe it was a combination of these things and more.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Here is the reality of the situation, the Dallas Cowboys have a new quarterback and they are moving forward. The Garrett/Romo relationship is not relevant because Romo is no longer a member of the Cowboys.
There’s a certain coldness to professional football, after all, it’s a business. Garrett cannot allow sentimentality to get in the way of preparing the team to win games. It’s nice that owner Jerry Jones can be friends and canoodle with many of his favorite players, but the coach doesn’t have time for that luxury. Someone has to keep their head down and keep moving forward, an area that is a major problem for Jones.
It seems like a harsh stance to take, but as the saying goes, ‘this isn’t show friends, its show business.’ Garrett is taking a disciplined approach and cannot get caught up in feelings; he praised Romo in his statement last week and has moved on. This is no time to be emotional or to go head over heels when the player you’d be praising isn’t going to be in Dallas. Now is the time to support your starting quarterback and to help rally your team around the guy who will be leading the Cowboys.
Garrett is trying to establish a winning culture, one that preaches the team over individuals (remember: the team, the team, the team). We all know it’s tough to watch Tony Romo leave the Cowboys, especially without a Super Bowl ring, but Garrett is trying to make sure the championship drought doesn’t continue. To do that, he has to be looking forward and focusing on the players currently on the team.
The relationship between Tony Romo and Jason Garrett may not be as strong as it once was, but for good reason. The head coach only needs to concern himself with the Dallas Cowboys who will take the field this season. That doesn’t include Romo.
Move on, or fall behind, that’s the cold, hard truth of life in the NFL. Thankfully, Jason Garrett understands this principle.
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