Predictably Romo: ‘There’s a Cat on the Field, Jim!’

Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Predictably Romo,” dedicated to the clairvoyance, excitement, and raw analytical abilities of the best thing to happen to the NFL since the two-point conversion. Loyal TFG readers may be familiar with our sister column, “Positively Gruden,” which is focused on the hyperbolic Grudenisms that rain down upon us every Monday night. We love ourselves some Gruden, but you may be able to sense just a tinge of mockery at times about the sheer absurdity of what comes out of the former coach’s mouth.

Not so with Romo. Our experience thus far has been one of pure unadulterated joy. We are in awe at the speed with which he breaks down plays and clarity in which he predicts the future. Combine all that with a legit sense of the humor—one that can at least bring out some tasting notes in Jim Nantz’s well-worn cheese—and you have all you could ever want in a color analyst.

We’re going to try some stuff out here, as we find our groove, by grouping certain Romoisms in categories. Unlike the singular Grudenism, a Romoism can be a number of things: an on-point prediction, an insightful breakdown of a play, a story about his playing days, and or something completely random that’s just entertaining. Here’s our first effort from last night’s Baltimore’s 40-0 thrashing of Miami, a game which you know who still made entertaining.

Clairvoyant Tony 

(All of the following predictions came true.)

– You’re looking at two offenses who have not been very productive this year. I don’t expect that to change tonight.”

– Ravens with a 3rd and goal on the 2 minutes after Ryan Mallett entered for Joe Flacco. “You’ve got to throw if you’re Baltimore, right” (Mallett rolls out finds Benjamin Watson in the end zone.)

– Dolphins on the 30, Fourth quarter, “You wanna take a shot as a quarterback right now, pump inside, throw outside.” (Matt Moore throws it deep and outside to Kenny Stills.). Nantz, “You saw it coming, Tony.”

– After CJ Mosley pick, when he’s on the 50, ”He’s gonna score, Jim!”

Storytime Tony

“Don Shula was a giant at the highest of levels. When you see that picture of Unitas to right by him. What some people don’t know is that Unitas called all the plays. A lot of quarterbacks called the plays of the field back then. What happened was Shula was so gifted and smart, he’s like ‘I wanted to do more offensively. I want to give the calls to the coaches.’ There was a big little battle between the legendary Unitas and the young aggressive coach. They had that little tug for a while. Eventually Shula moves on to Miami. Just a unique special time ” 

Teasing Tony

On the Dolphins’ giant comeback strategy (in the mid-3rd quarter)

Nantz: “When this offense is failing to get anything going, you’re wondering who can supply some sort of energy for them?”

Romo: “Well Jim I tell you what, you have a big secret to how they can come back, but you’re going to have to wait until after the commercial break.”

Nantz asks for the double tease after there’s a change of possession before the big reveal.

Romo: “Here’s how you get back into this game. Oh wait, we don’t have time. CBS!”

Finally, the strategy is revealed (in a rhyme):

“Throw every down. Throw to your backs. Snap it fast and pass, pass, pass”

Bucking Conventional Wisdom Tony

Dolphins down 26 in the fourth quarter, going for it in their own territory, “I’m gonna applaud Gase for this. I see plenty of coaches just punt this and try to get out of here and you don’t wanna get beat any worse. I couldn’t stand that. I love it when you go, hey, you never know, right? You get one play, then an onside, then a turnover, then 42 other things happen, and then you win the game!” (Moore promptly gets sacked. But I totally agree with the analysis. John Fox would have never gone for it.)

Braggadocios Tony

“I’m actually phenomenal at math.”

“I’m going trick or treating. I’m not sure if my kids will be with me.” (This is definitely a brag.)

Cat Lover Tony

Back Injury Specialist Tony

On Joe Flacco, “With the back stuff that’s he had going on, it’s probably in his best interest for the long-term for him to take that 2-3 weeks of rest.”

QB Breakdown Tony

After a first quarter Moore sack by Tony Jefferson, “All three of these guys take [Terrell] Suggs and they just let Jefferson go free. Do you know why he’s coming free? It’s because the communication. As the quarterback gets tot the line, he has to tell the o linemen who they’re blocking. If he gets up there and tells him, you can get all that protected. But if 3 guys take 1, that’s just a poor job of communication.”

After a second Moore Pick 6, “That throw has to leave his hand because of the free rusher. And really that’s what separates the top quarterbacks. There’s a million reasons, right. But one of the big ones is the ability to get the protection right.”

“The only way you make it 11 seasons as a back-up is, one, you have the the ability to throw the ball really well. So every time you come in to camp you look good.”

“Vinny [Testaverde] was so good, he played until like 45. He threw the ball as well as anyone around.”

Tired Tony

‘It’s the old Fumblerooski”

On the Bills-Jets next week, “It’s gonna be a big one. Game of the year.”

“Looks like we’re gonna actually snap this ball, and possibly finish this game….So I can go home.”