Since 1960, the Dallas Cowboys have seen 36 starting quarterbacks. If you're not performing up to par in Dallas, there's an eager replacement just a few yards away. The men that held that title have become household names, legends in the world of sports and rock stars for life. There is no other position that offers similar rewards or brutal scrutiny. It is not a job for the faint of heart. While Y2K was no more than an empty threat for most of the country, the Cowboys were dealing with a true tragedy, future Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman was nearing the end of his career, and taking with him, the arm that accounted for three world titles.
Lavonya Quintelle “Quincy” Carter was born on Oct. 13, 1977 in Decatur, Ga. Like most urban-bred kids, Quincy’s inner-city experience was a mix of cold steel and hard knocks.
There was no particular age group growing up, Carter played sports with kids of all ages, but that's where he first learned to be competitive.
GROWING UP, ROMO'S OPTIONS WERE LIMITED.
Tony survived the storm and lead his team to a double-overtime win.
A thousand miles away from Carter in a tiny town in Wisconsin, Antonio Ramiro “Tony” Romo was busy plotting his own way through the world of youth sports.
In December 1995, Romo’s love of competition stood directly in the path of his better judgment. The same drive that gave Tony his edge in sports, prompted a decision that could’ve proved disastrous.
Romo played a lot of basketball on his own, but soon realized that with football, the only way he could get better would be to play with other kids.
“I did OK.”
IT WAS THE COMPETITION OF FOOTBALL THAT DROVE HIM AND STILL DOES TO THIS DAY.
Back to Football
Carter reflects on what it felt like for his high school to become the first all-African-American school to win the state championship at Georgia’s highest level, a big accomplishment to this day.
By his junior year at Southwest DeKalb High School, Carter had worked his way up to starting quarterback, and in December 1995, he led the Panthers to the state championship.
When he signed his contract with Chicago, Quincy thought he really wanted to play center field for the Cubs, but his love for the game didn’t last, especially after spending his first full season in the minor leagues.
QUINCY DECIDED TO TAKE HIS SHOT AT THE MAJORS.
He soon realized that he wanted to try football again, so he began making calls to college coaches.
CARTER ON THE UP
Quincy quickly signed a letter of intent to play at Georgia Tech, but that same year he was also drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the second round of the MLB draft.
Georgia Tech and the Chicago Cubs
Romo Decided on Football
HIS OBSESSION WITH THE GAME OF FOOTBALL HAD LASTING EFFECTS.
He enrolled at Eastern Illinois University and while it wasn’t the big time, it was a place where he could refine his talents. Most of his work was accomplished in games and on the practice field, but for Romo, that was more of a guideline than a rule.
ROMO GETS NOTICED
As Carter’s baseball career was grinding to a halt, Romo was making the most of his high school years. As a junior, he was starting at point guard and quarterback for Burlington High School.
A thumb injury in an October game against the University of Florida ended Quincy's junior year at Georgia.
QUINCY MADE THE DECISION to FORE-GO HIS SENIOR YEAR AND DECLARE FOR THE NFL DRAFT.
Speculation and Rumors
CARTER TAKES ON THE WORLD
Carter was making the best of his new life in football. His experience at the University of Georgia was proving vastly different than Romo’s.
Along with concerns about his injured passing hand, rumors of off-the-field issues began to surface.
“People don’t understand it. You’ve got to see it. You’ve got to be around it. You’ve got to feel it – 90,000 at every stadium you go to. People rocking your bus. ... It’s a feeling you’ve got to experience.”
A Season Cut Short
QUINCY JOINS THE COWBOYS
The Cowboys Needed A Quarterback
With the 2001 NFL Draft quickly approaching, the Dallas Cowboys found themselves in an undesirable position. Troy Aikman had retired from football.
Sprained right shoulder suffered on Sept. 15 vs. Philadelphia. He finished the game with a team-high seven catches.
Lacerated spleen suffered in the preseason opener against Oakland on Aug. 13. He missed the rest of the preseason, but was back for the regular-season opener against the Giants on Sept. 5.
Broken jaw suffered on Oct. 5 vs. Arizona. He only missed one game.
After his disappointing year at Georgia, most teams had dropped Quincy’s projected draft position to somewhere around the third to fifth rounds. The Cowboys were in need of a quarterback, but the options were limited.
Broken ribs suffered on Oct. 26 vs. Tampa Bay. Left the game early, but was back the next week.
WE KNEW HE WAS A GUY WITH PHYSICAL GIFTS.
Highlight: Another Play
How It Happened
After an outstanding college career, Romo was realistic about his chances in the NFL. He always felt like he wasn't good enough. Soon though, his hard work would pay off.
Romo was putting up big-time numbers at Eastern Illinois. In his senior year, he became the first EIU player to win the Walter Payton Award as the top Division I-AA player in the country.
ROMO IN THE NFL
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STAR CROSSED PART 1
28 35 25 483 6,447
Draft Selection: 2nd round, 53rd Overall Georgia
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO
Games Played Touchdowns Interceptions Completions Yards
CHECK BACK FOR PART 2 ON THURSDAY, SEPT. 3, 2015.
Draft Selection: Undrafted Eastern Illinois
33 82 34 560 7,816