Now that the NFL is about to return, and Dirk has done what so many of us predicted he never would, we can focus our energy on the other Dirk, the other local who we are beginning to fear will never win his.
The question surrounding Tony Romo since he signed his six-year, $67.5 million contract in 2007 was not whether he was going to be good, but who was he going to be on the Cowboys' QB scale. Because, in sports, it is mathematically impossible not to compare this guy to that guy, we asked if Tony Romo was going to be Roger, or Troy or -- God forbid -- Danny White.
Let this serve as a cease-and-desist order on such comparisons. The way things are progressing at Valley Ranch, Romo will be lucky to do what White did in his career.
To compare Tony Romo to Danny White at this point is an insult to White's accomplishments, which are considerable by today's Cowboys hero worship of all things .500.
Of all the issues the Cowboys face when training camp finally opens, the most important is the state of their starting quarterback. It was just a week or so ago that NFL Network blowhard Warren Sapp said, "I don't think he has the potential to raise his game. We're talking about a guy that's from Eastern Illinois, and when you look at the young man, undrafted in this league, and then he had 17 starts before they gave him a six-year, $67 million contract. When you look at this contract, from '07 until now we're in '10, they really haven't got a lot of return for their money that they gave an undrafted guy in this league.
"So, if I'm looking at that, I don't think he fits that glove of knowing what the stage is. And if you don't know what that stage is, it's tough to perform on it."
The last time we saw Romo was this past weekend, when he barely finished second to former Melrose Place hack Jack Wagner in some Rich Celebrity Dude golf tournament in Reno.
The last time we saw Romo on a football field was Oct. 25, 2010, when someone named Michael Boley slammed him nearly to China and busted Romo's left clavicle.
In Romo's absence arose this notion that somehow Jon Kitna would be better as the Cowboys' starting quarterback. Even Roy Williams, who is a Kitna BFF, hinted at this.
This is what happens, Jerry, when your team has been as bad as yours has been for all these years. This new generation of Cowboys fans would gladly trade what they have now for what Danny White's teams did in the late '70s and very early '80s.
And yet Romo has been compared to White like this is an insult.
By the time White was 31, he had been a starter for three seasons with a career record of 30-11 and had reached three consecutive NFC title games. Maybe if Dwight Clark doesn't catch Joe Montana's throw-away pass in the back of the end zone the Cowboys go on to beat the Bengals and White has his Super Bowl, too. White would be a deity and not some alleged disappointment.
Now 31, Romo is 39-22 as a starter, with one playoff win. That's one spelled O-N-E.
Any Cowboys fan born after 1996 knows nothing of his team playing for anything beyond the occasional playoff game, or celebrating The Wade Phillips Preseason Championship trophy.
And any Cowboys fan born after 1996 knows Romo is their best chance.
On the rather illustrious Cowboys quarterback chart, we can see that Romo is better than Quincy Carter, Steve Pelluer, Randall Cunningham, Drew Bledsoe, Gary Hogeboom, Steve Walsh and -- this hurts to say -- Babe Laufenberg, too. Maybe even Craig Morton, maybe not Eddie LeBaron; forget the holy trinity of Dandy Don, Roger and Troy.
We need to remind ourselves that Romo's book isn't finished (although I read one a few years ago that is still on sale and is a fine, fine read).
Romo has a few years left to catch White, and still win the Super Bowl that defines Troy and Roger.
There are plenty of examples of QBs who had to wait until into their 30s before winning their Super Bowl -- Peyton Manning, John Elway, even Bart Starr.
And Romo has plenty of game to win said Super Bowl. It is fashionable for the growing number of disenchanted Cowboys fans to dismiss Romo for being too willing to playground a play, or too willing to play golf in the off-season.
(A quick 4-1-1 on that: Most of these guys mess around in the off-season because they have the money that allows them to do nothing. Whether it is golf, clubbing or tanning on the beach, none of these guys is doing the 9-to-5 routine because they don't have to.)
Just as there are often degrees of truth to some of these anti-Romo rants, there are several degrees of truth that Romo is very good at what he does. Top 10 at his position good. Certainly better than Jon Kitna good.
But if Romo is going to even match White's accomplishments, he will have to pull a Dirk. In order to win his title, the first thing Dirk had to do was just get close. Romo hasn't been close yet.
Then, like Dirk, Romo likely is going to have to do some things that may make him uncomfortable either on the field, or in the locker room. Players respond to verbal leadership, not this I-lead-by-example stuff.
For years most of us thought Dirk didn't have it in him to achieve what he just did.
Romo has been cast in the same lot, with similar concerns and growing doubts.
We always doubted whether he could be Dandy, Roger or Troy, because most guys just aren't.
We always figured at least Romo would be Danny White.
Turns out he is not. Not yet.
He needs to go Dirk on this season to get there.
Follow Mac Engel on Twitter @MacEngelProf.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7697