I have lived in Dallas for more than 20 years so I consider Texas my home. I guess you can say I'm naturalized. Somewhere along the line I transformed from a Dallas Cowboys fan to a naturalized football fan. It's hard to live in Texas and not love football. Or least be able to appreciate that so many people do.
Babe Laugenberg With Tony Romo At Four Seasons
Therefore, whenever any of the Cowboys are being interviewed and I happen to have free eyes or ears, I pay attention. Which was the recent case when Babe chatted with Tony Romo at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Colinas which was considered "neutral territory". Although I am not presenting the entire interview, word for word, I have included for this blog some of what I consider the "highlights" were during the chat.
Actually it makes a lot of sense to me that Babe and Tony went to a location other than Tony's home (where he lives with Jessica) or the Cowboy's home court. When I interview prospective employees I usually interview them at a neutral location like the local Starbucks or if a restaurant. That allows both of to focus on the discussion at hand and less on the surroundings.
Dallas only has one Four Seasons in town and it is a very nice one with a fabulous golf course and spa. I've been there several times throughout the years and there are several scenic nooks and crannies perfect for a camera crew and a sit down chat.
Famous people wander in and out of the Four Seasons all the time and the staff is very prepared to handle cameras, even a few random paparazzi, which we don't see much in Dallas. Also it is not far from where Tony lives and the Valley Ranch, the current Cowboy headquarters.
Some Tough Questions About Most Recent Season
Babe asked the Dallas Quarterback some very tough questions about the season that just ended. Afterall, going into the season the fans and the sports analysts all believed the Cowboys would take it all the way to the Superbowl.
Not only did the Cowboys not take it all the way, they had some bad losses to some teams they should have beat. As the team seemed to crumble, the Cowboy fans and the media turned up the criticism. Having lived in three different football towns (St. Louis, Washington D.C. and Dallas) I honestly believe that Dallas fans are some of the most rampant and opinionated around. Of course that is my own personal opinion.
Even though the Cowboys had a less than stellar season, Tony was calm and matter of fact as he chatted with Babe. At no time did I see him lose his temper or get emotional. As an aside, I was interested to see Tony without any type of cap or newsboy hat. He actually has some nice hair, hey its my thing right? I used to wonder if he was always wearing a cap or hat because he was starting to lose his hair but it appears not.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing for the team's quarterback to be calm during an interview? I guess it depends on what the fans want to see but I definitely want the QB to keep a cool head while running a game. In a lot of ways I see so many parallels between football and business with the QB being the CEO of a company. Weird I know but I am always looking for those commonalities.
Do The Fans Really Know What Is Going On During Games?
Although Tony always seems somewhat cool and collected during games, I only see a small slice of what is going on. Which is true for most of the Cowboy fans and viewers.
How can we adequately judge when we're not walking in Tony's shoes and living his life - good or bad? We really can't. We can only judge the ultimate results which is do they win or do they lose and how to they play on the field?
Is Tony Bothered After A Loss?
Babe asked if bothered Tony when the Cowboys lose? Tony told Babe after a loss he would "have a very had time sleeping" for the next 48 hours or so and would be continually "going over the loss in his head." So I guess that would be a no.
Babe wanted to know what Tony takes away from the past season and from the difficult losses (of individual games)? Tony told Babe "I'll learn from it and be better for it."
Babe asked if any of the losses were more difficult than others. Tony said "all loses are difficult, all are hard to swallow and tough in their own way."
He pointed out to Babe that "we've won some big games." Yes, true but its the loses that kept The Boys out of the playoffs and ultimately the Superbowl.
Moving Forward What Do The Cowboys Need To Do?
Moving forward Babe asked what Tony believes the Cowboys need to do? Tony replied "for us (The Cowboys) it's taking it to the next step. We have to look at what each individual has to do to take their game up a notch. It's time to pick it up. We're going to play better next year."
The Quarterback also addressed rumors about Tony and the team throwing the Cowboy's offensive co-coordinator under the bus when the various loses occurred. Indeed, a lot of fingers were being pointed all over the place during some of those embarrassing loses.
Tony explained away the rumors about pointing fingers at the various coaches to "so many emotions flying around." When emotions are high "everyone thinks no one else did their job, which is part of that high emotions" that people experience.
Tony wisely noted that everyone "wants to make sure no one points a finger at them." He also noted they also don't want to point a finger at themselves. He said "it's easier to direct blame at others than looking at yourself." Ahhh. I totally agree with that statement.
Cowboys Will Be Stricter In Certain Ways Next Season
Tony said "we need to look at ourselves and we need to get better as individuals to be better as a team." He told Babe "I don't think there will be near as much finger pointing" next season. He noted that "insanity is doing the same thing over and over agin and getting the same results."
Tony said he also believed next season the Cowboys will "be stricter in certain" ways. He also believes "our team works hard on the football team" but "we need to refine" how we "work to a point." Tony said "we're not going to compromise. We're going to do it. That's our approach."
He told Babe "we can give 90-95% and we are going to give 100% and we are going to do better."
As far as leadership issues, which the 28 year old player has been questioned about with regard to his own leadership abilities "a great leader is someone who wins," he said.
Babe mentioned that some of the other Cowboy players questioned Tony's practice habits. He asked Tony if that was due to "jealously" due to Tony being the "face of the franchise, having the big contract and the famous girlfriend".
Tony replied he didn't believe it was jealously by the team members but "part of the being in the position of the quarterback." In the role of the Quarterback Tony discussed how his actions are always scruntized and everyone is trying to figure out why the team is working or not.
Tony said "yYou want to figure out why" you not winning. He continued by saying "the reality was we weren't good enough. We will figure out how to be better next year and to be better."
Coach Wade Phillips
Babe pointed out the fact that Coach Wade Phillips was considered to be in jeopardy of losing his job as Coach after 44-6 lose at Philadelphia against the Eagles but that he was still coming back next season. Babe asked Tony if Wade coming back for another season was "a good call?"
Tony said "I'm excited about it. He (Wade) does a lot of good things that the media doesn't see." He continued sometimes "you need to change some things" to get different results. Tony noted "the boss can change, the guy leading" can definitely make some changes. He also said "people have to believe in you."
Tony And Jessica Compete For Media Attacks
Babe touched on Tony's current public romance with singer/songwriter Jessica Simpson which has caused controversy.
When asked about the criticism that has come his way, Tony volunteered that " he dates someone who gets ridiculed pretty often." He also revealed he "sometimes debates with Jessica about which one gets ripped worse" by the media and the fans.
More On Jessica
Jessica Simpson has been prominently featured in the media over the last two weeks due to public discussions over her recent weight gain which she has acknowledged. Some followers believe her weight gain estimated to be in the range of 25 pounds is due to a hidden pregnancy which has not yet been announced.
Other believe she has just gained weight due to her current tour and ongoing pressures. Discussions of Jessica's weight has generated criticism from her sister Ashlee, her brother-in-law Pete Wentz and Hollywood supporters such as Kim Kardashian, Carmen Electra and others.
Already Tony's interview with Babe has been dissected by fans and the media as well as how Tony appeared on camera. Some of the criticism centered about his apparent lack of emotion or fire in his belly.
Others believed he shouldn't be discussing his romance with Jessica while still others believe his public romance with a singer has distracted him from his career.
I don't know Tony. I have never met him. However, I do know a guy who is close to Tony and he has told me a lot about him. I have also met Jessica and she is truly a lovely person.
Ultimately I try to look at both sides of every possible situation before making any decision or judgment. In this case whether Tony showed enough emotion or not, whether he revealed too much or not enough in the interview, at least he was wiling to put himself out there and talk to Babe.
That is more than some of the other players are willing to do (not mentioning any other names) and it at least shows he cares enough about the fans to be willing to open up about what happened and what he plans to do in the future. Of course you may or may not agree but for the purposes of this blog, I am sharing my own opinion.What does the future hold for Tony Romo and The Dallas Cowboys? I have no idea but as a hard core fan I hope it is great.
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