Dirk Nowitzki Knows Exactly What Tony Romo Is Going Through Right Now
Tony Romo is going through his own personal hell right now. On Sunday afternoon, he led the Dallas Cowboys to a 27-3 lead against the Detroit Lions before Matthew Stafford and the Lions rebounded to rally all the way back and win the game 34-30. The win happened in part because Romo threw three terrible interceptions that allowed the Lions to get back into the game quickly.
Understandably, NFL analysts, bloggers, and NFL fans have had an absolute field day at Romo’s expense. They’ve questioned his decision-making, wondered aloud whether or not the ‘Boys can win a Super Bowl with Romo at the helm, and even started to consider who else could come in and lead the Cowboys. And to make matters worse, the team has a bye next Sunday, meaning Romo will have to endure not one but two weeks of this kind of criticism.
If this story sounds familiar, it should. Insert Dirk Nowitzki‘s name into it in place of Romo’s, change a few of the facts around to include the Dallas Mavericks, recall the Mavs epic collapse against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Playoffs a few years back, and you’ve basically got the same sad tale. Like Romo, Nowitzki used to have a huge target on his back with people questioning his toughness, wondering aloud if he could lead the Mavs to an NBA title, and trying to work out trade scenarios that would send him packing.
So it should come as no surprise to hear that with Romo struggling and the entire football community turning against him, Nowitzki is stepping up and offering him support. On his Twitter account yesterday, Nowitzki offered up a short letter to Romo, urging him to continue to play through his miscues and to keep his eyes on the prize.
“Dear tony romo,” the German-born baller wrote. “Dont worry abt all the critics. I heard that same garbage for a long time. Keep working hard and keep improving.”
It’s a small gesture from Nowitzki—Romo couldn’t even get a call on the phone or, hell, a text, Dirk?—but it’s still pretty meaningful. And it also helps put this entire Romo story into some sort of perspective. So far this season, Romo has frequently found himself on the wrong end of several situations. After playing one of the best games of his career against the New York Jets in Week 1 of the NFL season, he threw a crucial INT that cost the Cowboys the game. The same thing happened during yesterday’s game. And even after getting a W last week against the Washington Redskins despite playing with a broken rib and a punctured lung, he caught some flack for not playing as well as he could have. Still, it’s important to remember that it’s not like Romo is flat-out not performing. Does he need to clean up his act and stop making so many mistakes? Of course. But the Cowboys clearly can win with him at quarterback.
For years, Nowitzki took the same kind of criticism that Romo is taking now. So for him to offer up a kind word says a lot about him as a person and as a player and also shows some of us out here that we need to be patient with Romo. At the end of the day, we’re going to judge him by whether or not he can lead the Cowboys to the Super Bowl anyway, not by how he plays against the Lions in October. So, why are we throwing so many shots in his direction and making him look like the worst quarterback to ever play in the NFL?
You don’t need our advice, Tony. Take Dirk’s. After all, he’s got a ring, right? And at the end of your career, that’s all that’s really going to matter anyway. So, keep working hard, keep improving, and, most importantly, keep your nose out of the newspapers.