Can Romo Fill The Void?

Lee TawilContributor ISeptember 14, 2009

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 13:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks for an open receiver against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on September 13, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

As I watched the Cowboys face the Bucs yesterday, I particularly wanted to see how Tony Romo would bounce back after last year’s disappointing finish. In the early stages of the game, I was not too impressed, as Romo seemed to be unusually off, throwing behind his targets multiple times. I had the feeling like it was going to be another long year for Romo and the ‘Boys, and they would need to answer tons of questions about Romo’s inaccuracy and the future of this team.

Then came the two-minute drill at the end of the first half, where Romo needed just two plays to move the ball 51 yards and get the Cowboys into the end zone. After a quick 9 yard pass to Jason Witten, Romo slung a beautiful pass to Miles Austin’s back shoulder, where he turned around, made the catch, faked out a defender, and scampered 42 yards to paydirt. The rest of the game seemed to flow a lot better following that electrifying play.

Romo proved to the league that letting Owens go was maybe the best move they could have made, as he spread the ball around to all of his receivers, en route to a career passing day in which he passed for 353 yards. Romo also answered another question in the process, when he showed that the ‘Boys can indeed throw the deep ball without Owens there. During this game, Romo connected on 3 TD passes, all of which were over 40 yards.

But Romo has had impressive games like this in the past, so it didn’t come as a total surprise to me. What is really important for Romo to show this season if he wants to solidify his name in Cowboys’ history is to play like this on a consistent basis. If he can do that, especially when it comes to December, then I could truly say that the release of Owens was a positive move. Until that happens, I will remain skeptical. Because as many people forget, the Cowboys went 13-3 with the number one seed in the NFC Playoffs in 2007 with Romo and Owens. And although he might have been a ‘distraction,’ he had more touchdowns in the last 3 seasons than any other receiver in the league. So there is no doubt that it will be a huge challenge for the Cowboys to fill the void left by Terrell Owens, but if Romo is as good as I think he is, he will rise above and lead the Cowboys to a wonderful season.