The last time Tony Romo was there he left crying. That was Jan. 6, 2007 when the Seahawks defeated the Cowboys 21-20 in an NFC playoff game. You may remember that Romo was the holder on a short field goal try when he bobbled the snap, and the movie North Dallas Forty came to life.
How often does this ever happen?
"I was right on top of it when I saw it," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told me yesterday when I asked him about how he remembered that play. "It was surreal."
Jones compared that play to the Leon Lett blocked field goal in the snow on Thanksgiving in 1993.
"The difference was (the Romo hold) was fatal," Jones said.
Then coach Bill Parcells pulled the leash on Romo that evening; Romo was 17 of 29 passing for 189 yards with a touchdown. Parcells didn't trust Romo, so he leaned on running back Julius Jones, who ran for 112 yards on 22 carries.
What people often forget is the Cowboys should have had another decent shot to set up a field goal after Romo's bobble. The Cowboys had all three timeouts remaining, and the Seahawks began their final drive with 1:14 remaining at their 2-yard line. Despite stacking the line against the run, running back Shaun Alexander broke loose for a 20 yard run thereby killing the chance to regain possession with enough time.
The next morning, myself and then Dallas Morning News writer Calvin Watkins, who is now with ESPNDallas.com, were the only two reporters to stake out the Cowboys practice facility to try to interview players as they left the lot in their cars.
Then special teams coach Bruce DeHaven, who remains one of the NFL's all-time great guys, stopped and lamented how the ball Romo was holding was straight out of the box and slick as glass.
Jerry Jones was actually driving his town car himself and stopped to talk and expressed some disbelief at what happened. No one was sure what Parcells was going to do; he retired a few weeks later.
The person whom Calvin and I least expected to stop was Romo himself. He stopped, rolled down his window, and the look on that man's face was genuine grief.
Tony Romo looked like he had lost a family member and the emotional pain he was experiencing as a result of that loss, and the guilt over his mistake, appeared physical. He looked awful. He sounded worse.
I have to remind myself at times that while so many in the sports media, and sports fans, criticize the people they watch as guys who don't care and are just hired guns moments such as these serve as a reminder that no only does Romo care, but most of them do.
Check out this raw video of the play from a fan in Seattle. Romo nearly made the first down.
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