The moment that changed Tony Romo’s career

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I was there for the birth of the legend that is Tony Romo.

It was October 23, 2006, during a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants. My older son and I were at the game. The Cowboys were struggling in the first half; when the team came out to start the second half, there was palpable excitement on their sideline. I turned to my son and said, “I’ll bet they start Romo.” It turned out, I was right.

His first pass was tipped and intercepted. He went on to throw two touchdowns and three interceptions in the game. Two days later, Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells named Romo the team’s starting quarterback. He made the Pro Bowl that year, the first of four times he received that prestigious honor. In the years following, the list of Cowboys team records he set is astounding:

•    Passing touchdowns for a career (eighty more than Troy Aikman)
•    Passing yards for a career
•    Quarterback rating for a career
•    Games with three or more touchdowns
•    Games with three hundred or more yards passing
•    Most fourth-quarter comebacks (five more than Roger Staubach)
•    Passing touchdowns in a season
•    Passing yards in a season
•    Passing yards in a game.

In addition, Romo is the NFL’s all-time highest rated quarterback for the month of December and for the fourth quarter of games played.

After a series of injuries in recent years, he announced yesterday that he will retire to become a television football commentator. You might think that the scene I witnessed in 2006 was the moment that changed his legendary career. Actually, it wasn’t.

Romo told Pastor Ed Young that he grew up going to church but gave his life to Christ while in college. After graduating, he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys. Then came the prayer that defined his future.

In training camp at the start of his second year in the NFL, he was worried about making the team. As he told Pastor Young, “I was very stressed and emotional. I sat there and prayed at night, ‘Lord, If I’m meant to be an assistant golf club professional back in Wisconsin, I will enjoy that and be the best version of that I can be. But I am done making every single thing be the most important moment of my life. There’s no peace in that. I’m literally giving football to you. . . . I’m going to play aggressively and leave it up to you. And I’m going to be at peace with whatever the outcome is.”

Romo says that prayer changed everything: “That was the moment where I learned how to play the game—because I literally gave it up. He has control. And as long as he has control, I’m at peace.”

One of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history learned what we all need to remember: the world’s praise cannot give us peace. “Peace” is a “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22), not of the culture. That’s why God’s peace is such a powerful witness in these chaotic times.

Years ago, I came across a bumper sticker that said, “Know God, know peace. No God, no peace.” The prophet said to the Lord, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

Do you have perfect peace today?

NOTE: I invite you to join me at Dallas Baptist University for the eighth annual Easter Eve Service. We will meet on Saturday, April 15, at 6:00 PM in Pilgrim Chapel. I will share a message from God’s word as we celebrate our Risen Lord together. I welcome you to bring any family and friends who may wish to join us for this special service. There will be a reception at 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM.

Please RSVP your attendance to Alyssa Furr at alyssa@dbu.edu or call her at 214-333-5408. To learn more, visit www.dbu.edu/easter.