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Tony Romo the Bum is Now Tony Romo the Hero in Dallas

Remember last week when that bum Tony Romo played like a stupid jerk and ruined the Cowboys victory against the Jets? Yeah, me either. Because after suffering through a week of "he can't do it" and "Romo is not a gamer" and "The Cowboys can never win with Romo as their quarterback," Tony Romo came out and was the hero against the San Francisco 49ers.

By now you've seen the footage of Romo getting sacked, and then lead off to the locker room, where his disgusted face told the whole story. Jon Kitna comes in, tosses a TD and a couple picks, but the Cowboys are still losing.

Then, in a moment fitting of a Hallmark Channel made-for-TV movie, Romo comes out of the locker room, shakes off his aching ribs, grabs his helmet and gets back in the game, leading the Cowboys to a much-needed overtime win on the road.

This moment has so much meaning to thie season for Romo and the Cowboys it's almost too big to quantify.

Let's imagine for a moment that Romo doesn't come back out. Kitna stays in the game and the Cowboys lose like it seemed like they would.

What would the Monday morning headlines have to say about an 0-2 Dallas team and an injured Romo. The anti-Romo bandwagon would have snowballed bigger than the boulder that chased Indiana Jones, and Romo may not have been able to get out of the way. 

The hate may have become too much for Romo (who's gotten a bad rap) and the city, which was already on the verge of turning on him, would have completely turned against him. But more importantly, he may have lost his teammates as well.

The problem with Romo is that he has taken it on the chin in his whole career. And it's mostly because of a few notorious plays and games. His botched field goal attempt on 1996. A couple of bad playoff games. But when you look at his body of work, Tony Romo has been a great player for the Cowboys. Since 1996 no other NFL quarterback has had a higher QB rating in the 4th quarter than Romo. Not Brady, not Manning, not Brees, not Rivers, not anyone. And yet, he throws one bad pick on Monday Night football and he's a goat, the reason the Cowboys can't win a championship with him at the helm.

But now, things might be different.

Instead, Tony solidified his position as the leader and captain of the Cowboys and fortified that locker room just when they needed it most. That decision to gut it out and play through the pain was the turning point for the 2011 Cowboys NFL season. If the Cowboys do anything at all this year and finally live up to the high expectations they seem to have each and every season, every pundit and media talking head will turn and point to this moment when Tony Romo the Bum became Tony Romo the Hero.