And just like that, the career of Tony Romo in the NFL is over. Not as long as it could have been, not as successful in terms of team achievements as it could have been, while the memes focus on his infamous failures.

Romo hardly played in the last two seasons, after an MVP calibre campaign in 2014. Injuries, and eventually losing his job to rookie quarterback Dak Prescott made it quite clear that Romo’s time with the Cowboys is over. But everyone expected him to go on for one last ride with another team, to try and win that championship ring.

The Bills, Texans and Broncos sounded like great landing spots, but the Cowboys couldn’t get a trade to work. The next step would have been releasing Romo, to let him sign for a contender. But Romo didn’t want to chase a ring at all costs, not when his body has been through so much over the years. He preferred to retire while his body was still intact, even if it meant not winning the Super Bowl or ever getting to one.

Romo is more than playoff losses and injuries. In terms of numbers, he’s the best quarterback the Cowboys have ever had, although statistics don’t tell everything. Romo didn’t get the Cowboys to the Super Bowl or the NFC title game. He was a very good quarterback, and he might be an excellent analyst, but while individually his career was a success, especially considering he was never shortlisted to be a starter, never getting his team to the promised land will always stand side by side with his impressive numbers.

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