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Sports Then and Now



Waiting for the Weekend: Paying Your Dues 1

Posted on January 15, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Tony Romo has earned star status in the NFL despite being undrafted out of Eastern Illinois.

Tony Romo has earned star status in the NFL despite being undrafted out of Eastern Illinois.

In this era when multi-million dollar contracts are often lavished on players and coaches who have done little to justify such riches, there are still examples out there of people who are enjoying success after paying their dues.

Below are the stories of a player, coach and a broadcaster who are all now enjoying the fruits of success after taking the tough road to glory.

Wearing The Star

There are some that think because Tony Romo is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and received lots of recognition long before he won a playoff game that he has been handed success.

In reality, that perception couldn’t be further from the truth.

I would argue that there have been very few superstar quarterbacks in NFL history who have overcome as many obstacles to success as Romo.

Consider that of the eight quarterbacks still in the NFL Playoffs, four were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, two were selected in the second round and the other two (Warner and Romo) were undrafted free agents.

Warner is the ultimate underdog story and his tale has been told many times over the last decade, but Romo’s rise from obscurity to stardom also deserves to be recognized.

A three-time Division I-AA All-American at Eastern Illinois (not generally recognized as an NFL hotbed), Romo went undrafted during the 2003 NFL Draft. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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