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Tony Romo Escapes the Choke Hold

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I have been an unapologetic Tony Romo hater since his entrance into the NFL. I thought he had been glorified by the media without having accomplished anything of substance in his career and his performances the past three Decembers and playoff game choke jobs made me feel justified in that belief. Even this year with the Cowboys sitting at 8-5 after losing a critical division game to the Giants, I assumed the inevitable was going to happen and that Romo would crumble under the pressure as we had come to expect.

Today I want to apologize to Cowboys fans and Tony Romo lovers everywhere for hating on him for so long and I want to give credit where credit is due. I still don't know if he's a top-5 quarterback, or if he'll ever be on a Manning-Brady-Brees level, but Romo looks to have transformed into a guy that you can now depend upon to lead a team to victory in a must-win game.

He led his team into undefeated New Orleans three weeks back and came out with a deceiving 24-17 victory in which the score didn't indicate how badly Dallas outplayed New Orleans or how much better Romo looked than his counterpart, Drew Brees.

After man-handling the pathetic Redskins last week on Sunday night 17-0, Romo led Dallas to a dominating, division clinching triumph over the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-0. Maybe I'm speaking too early and I should wait until we see what happens in next week's playoff game which re-matches the Cowboys and Eagles, but I think we can bury the image of Romo fumbling away a game-winning field goal against Seattle in the 2006 NFC playoffs.

I still loathe the Cowboys and will be rooting for the return of the Romo I came to know and depend upon to fail when the situation mattered most from 2006-2009, but I'm not expecting it. With 2010 here heralding in the beginning of a new decade, it looks as if a new Romo is also here, one that might actually lead the Cowboys to playoff victories and maybe even a Super Bowl someday (that was the most painful thing I have written since analyzing the use of literary devices in the Great Gatsby in AP English my junior year of high school).