Tony Romo proved he's an unparalleled reader of the game during the AFC Championship game on Sunday night.
The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback accurately called New England's plays before they happened, and if we take a step back in time, we'll find that he called Sam Darnold's future, too.
During an interview with Chris Simms and Adam Lefkoe for the Simms and Lefkoe Show in early Sept. of last year, Romo sang high praises for the Jets rookie quarterback before his season even began.
"Without making any glaring statements, but I'm about to, I actually think Sam Darnold has got a chance to end up as the best quarterback in the National Football League," Romo then said. "I actually think he's the best quarterback to come out in a while, period."
From prior to the 2018 season - Tony Romo on how good he thinks Sam Darnold could be pic.twitter.com/9kWuoC08gd- Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) January 22, 2019
Romo didn't stop there. Once the Jets secured Adam Gase as their new head coach, the four-time Pro Bowler said Gase has the power to unlock the Peyton Manning in Darnold. Gase did, after all, help Manning flourish in Denver. In his age 37 season, Manning led the league and set career highs with 55 touchdown passes and 5,477 passing yards en route to a Lombardi trophy.
Romo compared Darnold to Manning in the Simms and Lefkoe Show, too. He said both quarterbacks have the innate ability to shuffle two steps while a defender pressures in the pocket, without even being aware of it. Once a quarterback has that, Romo said, the ceiling is very high.
"Some players have the ability -- I call it spatial awareness, the instinctual ability to see leverage and get off a receiver when they're going through a progression far faster than other people -- that's probably the most underrated trait that people can't analyze," Romo said earlier this month. "They see running. They see movement. Or they see the big play. What they don't see is you got to the fourth receiver in 1.2 seconds, not 2.4. That's really the secret to the best players at that position, and I think Sam has some of those qualities."
During preseason last year Romo said he was unsure if Darnold would have a good rookie season, and he was right. Darnold had a roller-coaster first year, starting out with a bang then missing a month due to injury. The quarterback finished the year on 2,865 passing yards with 17 touchdowns. Still, Romo doubled down on his projection of the young QB.
"I don't know if he's going to have a good year this year," Romo then said. "But I guarantee you in the next three years, Sam Darnold is for real."
Well, Romo, you have us on the edge of our seats.