MCLAUGHLIN: A Farewell Letter to Tony Romo
Upon Further Review

Dear Tony Romo,

Goodbyes are never easy—especially when you’re parting ways with someone who has had such a big impact on your life, and especially when it’s someone who has brought you so much happiness and joy.

As a fan of an NFC East team not named Dallas, it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to you, Tony. The same goes for every other Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., or New York football fan — because for the last decade, we have all come together to joyfully watch you cement “America’s Team” as one of the NFL’s most irrelevant squads of the 21st  century.

Alas, the new guard has arisen in Dallas. Dak Prescott is vying for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, and while you might play for one of the most incompetent owners in American sports, no one is crazy enough to switch quarterbacks amidst a six-game winning streak. The preseason hype surrounding Prescott was real—the new young gun is here to stay, Tony, so it appears now is as good of a time as ever to say goodbye.

It’s not just NFC East fans that have enjoyed the era of mediocrity you bestowed upon Dallas. As you may well know, we, along with everyone else in the NFL outside of Texas, despise the team you play for. USA Today ranks the Cowboys the second-most hated team in the league behind the Patriots, and for 10 straight years you’ve helped prevent this five-time Super Bowl champion from so much as making an NFC championship game. You have truly served this country well.

Those who aren’t fans of an NFC East team may not fully understand the affection we have for you, Tony. After all, you’ve torched us in the regular season for the better part of four years. Since 2012, you have beaten the Eagles five of the last six times you played them, and the Giants six of the last seven.

But like any good boyfriend, you always knew how to make the holidays special. The botched field goal hold against Seattle in early January 2007, a three-interception performance against the Redskins to cost your team a playoff spot in December of 2012, a 2-4 overall record in the playoffs — it made regular season losses here and there all worth it. As long as the Cowboys’ season was over come January, nothingelse mattered.

Don’t get us wrong, you were good, Tony. In fact, that’s what we Cowboy haters loved about you. You were just good enough to discourage Dallas from ever going out and finding a different quarterback that might’ve actually elevated the Cowboys out of mediocrity. Since you’ve been starting under center, Dallas has had 11 first round picks—not one of which was spent on a quarterback. Despite every five-star talent, or every Pro-Bowl free agent to come on the market in the last 10 years, your talent was just good enough to discourage the Cowboys from looking elsewhere. It is only after accidentally stumbling upon fourth-round star Prescott that your job has been taken away.

However, most important was the cultural change we loved seeing you bring to Dallas. It takes a lot for a franchise that once instilled fear in the hearts of fans nationwide to become the hallmark of playoff ineptitude. In starting you, a shy, tepid boy with an “aw, shucks” personality, the Dallas Cowboys effectively made Charlie Brown the face of their franchise for the better part of the decade. Just thinking about your bobbled field goal hold conjures up images of the old Peanuts’ star whiffing while Sally pulls the football away at the last second. Oh good grief Tony, we’re going to miss you.

During these next few distasteful years of Dallas dominance led by Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot, we’re going to be reminded every winter how much we miss having you there to ensure a Cowboy collapse. As NFC East fans, we’re going to miss you, and we hope you find a home with another team—so long as it isn’t ours.

Sincerely,

Redskins, Eagles and Giants fans

Jimmy McLaughlin is a junior in the College. Upon Further Review appears every other Friday.

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