(Barbara Allison/Associated Press)

In September, Joe Theismann offered some harsh criticism of Dallas quarterback Tony Romo. 

“Sooner or later we have to come to the realization that Tony isn’t a very good quarterback,” Joe Theismann said in an interview Tuesday on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “He throws interceptions that you shake your head. If it’s all the wide receivers’ fault, then maybe he should get some new wide receivers, or they need to come up with some new route combinations that guys can understand.

“Just because he wears a star on his helmet — we all think that people who are Dallas Cowboys, ‘Oh they’re wonderful and ooh they’re terrific, ooh they’re the next Roger Staubach’ or whatever the heck they want to say — they’re full of bologna.”

Theismann went on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas to preview tomorrow’s game, and when confronted with the audio of his comments, he backtracked a bit. 

“Tony’s playing a lot better football,” Theismann admitted. “I guess I got carried away a little bit. And let me say this. I know, I get the tweets from a lot of the Cowboys fans, and believe me I know how they feel. Watching Tony play, and I’ve played golf with him up in Tahoe and I know him and he’s a terrific guy. But he’s better than the way he has played. And I guess that’s what I was really trying to say is, what we’re seeing out of Tony Romo, I expect more. The Cowboys fans expect more. Jerry expects more. 

“The other thing, when I talked about the star on the helmet of the Dallas Cowboys, you have to understand something,” he continued. “When you think about the apple on the iPhone and iPad, and you think about the Nike swish, and you think about the Dallas Cowboys star, they are all symbols that represent and entire industry. The phone industry is Apple’s symbol. They don’t need to say ‘Apple’. Nike doesn’t need to say ‘Nike.’ The swish represents it. The star of the Dallas Cowboys, they don’t need to say ‘Dallas Cowboys.’ It’s just the star. I think it’s one of those things that’s accepted worldwide as being the moniker of the National Football League. So, from my perspective, what I said about Tony is, he was average and he was playing average.”

Hearing a Redskins legend call the Dallas star the moniker of the NFL makes my ears hurt. Also, everyone knows “$” is the real symbol of the NFL.

At the time of his Romo comments, a clearly fired-up Theismann had some choice words for the Cowboys owner as well. 

“Where does Jerry turn for anything? It took him five years too long to change his offensive line, which isn’t very good. It took him three years too long to change his secondary. This is what happens when you’re not a football guy. Jerry Jones is so emotionally involved in this game that he can’t make a decision that I think affects his football team positively. I mean, to absolutely have to have a babysitter for your wide receiver, I mean, that worked out really well with Adam Jones when he had him there, didn’t it?”

Theismann didn’t stand by those words either. 

“Absolutely not,” he said, when asked if he still feels the same way. “I mean, I respect Mr. Jones so much. Listen, I went crazy on that particular point. You look at decisions that general managers make, that owners make. They are the biggest fans of their football team and they want to do whatever they can to make their football team be successful.”

“But what Jerry has done for football, for professional football, is amazing,” Theismann offered. “If it wasn’t for him, marketing wouldn’t be what it is today. Advertising in stadiums wouldn’t be what it is today. He has done so much for professional football, and after I said all that stuff and said ‘You know Joe, you’re a real ass. You really are.’ Because, here’s a man I’ve known for years, he’s been wonderful to me, and here I am running him into the ground. The reason I sent the Tweet out to apologize, is when I listened to the things that you just played, they weren’t meant personal, but when I listened to them they sounded personal. And I didn’t want that to be that way. They were professional observations from a guy who’s been around the game a long time. To me they sounded way too cutting and personal. And for that, I apologize for.”

It’s cool for Theismann to apologize to the owner and quarterback of the Cowboys for statements he considered over the line. Less cool when it’s Dallas week, but whatever. 

Ever faithful, Theismann offered his thoughts on tomorrow’s match-up. 

“I think it’s going to be one of the better football games we’ve seen in this rivalry,” he predicted. “I like the Redskins in this game, because I am a Redskin and I refuse to pick against them.”