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What to do with Tony Romo?

November 24, 2016 Leave a comment

2016 might go down as one of the Dallas Cowboys’ best drafts. How often do you draft a running back and quarterback and have both tearing up the league? Most rookie quarterbacks spend their first season on the sideline with a clipboard. In five years, many of them are out of football. As for running backs, many spend their first year enduring the brutal reality that the NFL defensive linemen and linebackers are far bigger, meaner, faster and stronger than their college counterparts.

Let’s face it: Dak Prescott isn’t just the future of the Cowboys, he’s also the now. Originally intended to back up Tony Romo for a few seasons and then step in and start as quarterback, Prescott was forced into the starter role when Romo went down in preseason with a shoulder injury. Prescott’s touchdown-to-interception ratio is mind boggling (currently 17 TD passes, two interceptions), and he set the record for most passes to start an NFL career without an interception. He’s poised and is a rookie who acts like a veteran who craves pressure.

Prescott is doing so well that Romo is currently serving as a backup.

What to do with Tony Romo?

Word is, he wants a trade to the Denver Broncos. Other teams are said to be interested. Romo is 36, and if he is traded, he’ll want to go to a team with a shot at the Super Bowl.

I’d love to see Dallas keep Romo for this reason: the team needs two solid, reliable quarterbacks. Romo knows the system and has shown that if given decent protection, he’s almost unstoppable. If he’s traded and Prescott goes down with an injury, then Dallas would probably be stuck with another Brandon Weeden Problem–having a terrible quarterback who’s not cut out to lead a team and move the ball, much less win football games.

A co-worker said Romo will probably have to be traded or cut at sometime. He signed a huge contract a year or so ago, and it probably doesn’t make sense to the Cowboys to have a high-priced backup quarterback.

Regardless, I’ll say this: Tony Romo belongs not only in Dallas’ Ring of Honor, but also someday in the NFL Hall of Fame. He’s had an awfully good career for an undrafted free agent who’s had no help for most of his tenure. Yes, he’s a gunslinger who can throw frustrating interceptions, but that often happens when you have no help on defense and know you have to do it all yourself. Yes, he’s had a lot of injuries. That often happens when you absorb a lot of heavy hits.

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Sorry, Bob Costas, but you really blew it

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

[Published in the December 12, 2012 edition of the Clio, Mich. Genesee County Herald]

From A to Zowie

Sorry, Bob Costas, but you really blew it

By Richard Zowie

It’s amazing how a media personality can talk so tough at one moment and be so cowardly in the next moment.

A few weeks ago on December 1, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot to death his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and then turned the gun on himself in a murder-suicide.

The next day during halftime on NBC’s Sunday night football, sports commentator Bob Costas quoted Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock and said: “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

Early in the morning on December 8, Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent and his friend, Cowboys practice squad member Jerry Brown, rode in a car. Brent had been drinking. The car crashed, and Brown died. Brent, like so many alleged drunk drivers, is still alive. He faces intoxication manslaughter charges.

According to a cbsnews.com report, Brent had previously been arrested in Illinois in 2009 for driving under the influence along with driving on a suspended license and speeding. He pled guilty and received 60 days in jail, two years of probation, 200 hours of community service and a fine of about $2,000.

On Sunday night, during halftime of the Green Bay Packers versus Detroit Lions game, Costas talked to former NFL coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy about the NFL’s programs for helping out players who’ve had too much to drink and need a ride home.

Here’s what Costas SHOULD have said: “If Josh Brent hadn’t consumed alcohol in excess and if he hadn’t gotten behind the wheel of a car, Jerry Brown would still be alive.”

Why not take a stand, Bob? After all, far more people in America die annually from alcohol-related driving accidents than they do from gun crimes. Not to mention all the women who receive serious injuries courtesy of current or former husbands or boyfriends who are drunk or high.

But then, perhaps it’s more politically correct to criticize gun ownership than it is alcohol consumption.

Coors, Anheuser-Busch and Miller run commercials all the time during NFL games. That’s not the case with Smith and Wesson, Beretta and Glock. With the gun criticism, there’s no concern over alienating advertisers. My guess is the NFL receives a LOT of advertising revenue from beer companies and doesn’t want to rock the boat.

To be clear, I am not against drinking, as long as it’s done responsibly. However, Brent has shown a pattern of not being responsible.

As for Belcher, had he stabbed his girlfriend, would Costas have argued that if Belcher hadn’t had a knife, he and his girlfriend would still be alive?

Or if he’d bludgeoned her, would Costas think the two would still be alive if Belcher hadn’t had a baseball bat?

Or if he’d strangled her, would Costas think the two would still be alive if Belcher hadn’t had hands?

No, Bob, the issue is more about a society that devalues human life and then doesn’t hold its citizens accountable—especially its professional athletes.

Until Costas and others grasp that, the madness in this country will continue.

Richard Zowie is a reporter and columnist for the Herald. He can be reached at rzowie@myherald.net, and his blog is at www.fromatozowie.wordpress.com.

Hey, Bob Costas…

December 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Bob Costas:

Here’s what you SHOULD say tonight: “If Josh Brent hadn’t consumed alcohol in excess and if he hadn’t gotten behind the wheel of a car, Jerry Brown Jr. would still be alive.”

But then, it’s more in vogue to criticize guns than to criticize those who drink and drive, even though far more Americans die annually in alcohol-related fatalities.

That is all.

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Dallas Cowboys owner/president/general manager Jerry Jones gets an intervention

November 15, 2012 Leave a comment

From A to Zowie

Dallas Cowboys owner/president/general manager Jerry Jones gets an intervention

By Richard Zowie

As of this writing, the Dallas Cowboys are 4-5 after having defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-23 on November 11. It has been 17 years since the Cowboys last won a Super Bowl.

As Dallas tries to reach for .500 when they play the Cleveland Browns, many problems still loom. Will the Cowboys re-sign Tony Romo in the off-season? Will the offense finally start clicking? Will Felix Jones regain his old form? Will the Cowboys make the playoffs? Will Jason Garrett keep his job, or will we see him in the unemployment line in Dallas County? Will the Cowboys replace him with Mike Holmgren or Sean Payton? Will Dez Bryant remove the pacifier from his mouth and replace it with a mouth guard?

And, will Jerry Jones finally come clean about an embarrassing problem that could wind him up in rehab?

We can only hope…

…Jerry Jones sits in his office at Cowboys Stadium. For the last half hour he has been pondering two deals: the corporate sponsorship for Cowboys Stadium (the only sponsors officially ruled out have been Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Red Man Chewing Tobacco and Green Giant vegetables) and what toppings to put on his dinner pizza from Papa John’s (he’s leaning towards pepperoni, black olives and onions).

The door opens. In walks Gene Jones, Jerry’s wife, along with his sons, Stephen and Jerry Jr., and his daughter Charlotte. Also joining them are retired Cowboy legends Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett and Randy White. They all have grim looks on their faces, as if Chuck Norris has just lost an arm wrestling match to Iron Man.

Jerry: Um, what is going on? My birthday was LAST month.

Gene: This has nothing to do with your birthday, Jerry.

Jerry (looking at Staubach, Dorsett and White): Guys, I have apologized countless times for how I fired Tom Landry.

Roger: This has nothing to do with how you fired Coach Landry, Jerry.

Jerry: Nobody’s paycheck bounced, did it?

Stephen: No, Dad. Financially, you’re worth over $2 billion. Everybody’s getting paid.

(Jerry lets out a deep sigh of relief).

Stephen: Dad, all of us love you and respect you very much, but it’s time we made you realize what everybody in the organization and everybody in Texas already knows.

Jerry: What’s that?

Gene: Sweetie, you’re a great marketer and brilliant businessman, but as team president and general manager of the Cowboys, you, um, well, um…

Dorsett: Jerry, what your wife is trying to say is that as team president and general manager you stink worse than Limburger cheese.

Intervention? I don’t need no stinkin’ intervention!!!

Jerry: Gene, I love ya, but that’s just your opinion…wait, does EVERYBODY here feel this way?

ALL (in perfect unison): YES!!!

Jerry: What makes y’all say that? I’ve found some pretty talented guys?

Emmitt: You mean like Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson, Clint Stoerner and Shaunte Carter? Jerry, no other teams even had Quincy on their draft board! You took him in the second round but probably could’ve signed him as an un-drafted free agent!

Randy: And what on earth is your obsession with football players who tried to play baseball but failed, Jerry? I mean, Carter, Hutchison and Drew Henson?

Troy: Jerry, there’s no shame in admitting you’re not good at assessing talent. I mean, you drafted David Buehler because he had a strong leg–never mind if the goalposts were five miles apart, he’d STILL shank field goals wide left.

Jerry: But that doesn’t mean I’m not good at assessing talent!

Jerry Jr.: Dad, besides those players, do you also remember thinking Barry Switzer would be a great NFL coach, and not to mention removing your support from Bill Parcells and backing Terrell Owens! Let’s face it: Jimmy Johnson had great talent at picking talented players and personnel. You don’t have that talent.

Charlotte: Daddy, here’s what we’re gonna do. We will escort you to a black SUV waiting outside, then to the airport and then to the Betty Ford Clinic. They have doctors there who specialize in professional sports owners who micromanage and think they know far more about their sport than they really do…

What will happen? Time will tell? My guess is that if Jerry Jones swallows his pride and completes the program, maybe someday soon Cowboys Stadium will become Betty Ford Clinic Stadium as a symbol of gratitude.

Richard Zowie grew up in Beeville and is a 1991 graduate of A.C. Jones High School. He currently lives with his sons in Vassar, Michigan. Post your comments here or e-mail Richard at fromatozowie@gmail.com.

A few thoughts about the NFL season

September 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Tomorrow night the NFL season begins when the Green Bay Packers will take on the New Orleans Saints (I think the Saints will win). A few things I think will happen this season…maybe I’ll be right, or maybe not:

…Some have picked the Dallas Cowboys to go 9-7. I like Dallas’ offense but even with Rex Ryan heading up Dallas’ defense, I remember how bad it was last year and am not sure Ryan can turn it around so quickly. (Ironically, Ryan is the son of former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Buddy “Bounty Bowl” Ryan)…

…Many believe the Philadelphia Eagles will finish first in the NFC East. I think it will all come down to Michael Vick and whether he has matured and if he can really step back and quarterback instead of just scrambling around…

…Will the Dallas Cowboys finally get corporate sponsorship for Cowboys Stadium? All I know is it won’t be Philadelphia Cream Cheese Stadium…

…Frustrated with their lack of getting their own stadiums, the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders will discuss doing what the New York Giants and New York Jets do–share a stadium. It’s either that or you have the San Jose 49ers or Los Angeles Raiders…

…And speaking of Tinsel Town, I would not be surprised if San Diego, St. Louis or Jacksonville relocates to L.A. All three want new stadiums, but the Rams would be the sentimental, “prodigal home” choice. One has to wonder, with Atlanta to the not-so-distant north and in a state with the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will Jacksonville ever truly be an NFL town?…

…I would not be shocked if the Detroit Lions made it to the playoffs. At all. And if they do, head coach Jim Schwartz should be named NFL Coach of the Year…

…Pittsburgh Steelers headhunter/linebacker James Harrison will receive yet another fine for a vicious hit and will probably receive another fine when he responds by saying NFL commissioner Roger Gooddell is softening up the NFL defenses so much they’ll all be auditioning for the Austrian Boys Choir…

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Will Jason Garrett become the Dallas Cowboys’ permanent head coach?

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

So far, Jason Garrett appears to be the anti-Wade Phillips–not necessarily a bad thing.

A road win for the Dallas Cowboys against the Indianapolis Colts and the slumping Peyton Manning? Not too shabby. Manning must be cursing himself right now and lamenting not facing the Cowboys when Wade Phillips was still head coach; then, he would’ve faced a punchless defense he could’ve easily lit up.

So far, Jason Garrett is 3-1 as the Cowboys head coach. His sole loss came in a near-comeback win on Thanksgiving Day against the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees–who was thought to be too short and have too average an arm to be a successful NFL quarterback.

When Dallas first hired Garrett to run the offense, it seemed a matter of time before some other team would hire Garrett to be head coach. This season, many Cowboys fans felt Garrett’s play calling was far too conservative. His stock fell.

And now as the head coach, he seems to be doing very nicely.

Dallas seems more disciplined (evidenced by their new dress code and by their defense actually making stops now) and is winning games despite having a career backup quarterback in Jon Kitna at the helm. The discipline really is needed for a team that this season was, frankly, overconfident and overrated.

Could Garrett end up becoming Dallas’ next great head coach? Time will tell. All I know for sure is that Jerry Jones probably won’t be bugging the NFL to let him hire himself as Dallas’ head coach. Or to sign himself to a contract to quarterback the team.

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I’m from Texas, but I’m cheering for the San Francisco Giants

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

People back home have called me a traitor and a sell out because I don’t want the Texas Rangers to win the World Series. In the American League Division Series I cheered for the Tampa Bay Rays and in the ACLS I did the unthinkable and cheered for the New York Yankees. And now, in the World Series, I am cheering for the San Francisco Giants.

Yes, I moved to Texas in 1981 when I was eight and, yes, I consider myself an adopted Texan (I also have a grandmother, two aunts, five nephews, one niece and a son born in Texas). Most of my family still lives in Texas. And, yes, I bleed blue and silver for the Dallas Cowboys and blue and orange* for the Houston Astros.

Notice, I said “Astros” and not “Texas Rangers”. That is because I am not a Ranger fan. Never have been, never will be.

Yes, I know there are Texas residents who like both teams, but you will often discover about Texas that allegiances are similar to those in Chicago and New York: you like either the Cubs or White Sox or you like either the New York Yankees or Mets. In Texas, you like either the Texas Longhorns or Texas A&M Aggies. Houston Texan fans hate the Dallas Cowboys, and Cowboy fans hate the Texans.

So, therefore, as a staunch Houston Astros fan, I don’t want to see the Rangers win the World Series.

Yes, I know I have bitterness because Nolan Ryan finished his career in Arlington due to the stinginess and stupidity of the late former Astros owner John McMullen (Ryan is also enshrined as a Ranger in the Hall of Fame), but truth is, I’ve never liked the Rangers.

Some Astros fans may cheer for the Rangers, but this one won’t.

Post comments here or e-mail Richard at fromatozowie@gmail.com.