Cowboys fans everywhere know the team kicks off the regular season Sunday against the division rival New York Giants.
They also know that during the offseason, their beloved quarterback, Tony Romo, showed his alter ego — a balding, bearded artist dude who spends his time doing papier-mache projects and baking cupcake-brownies called “crownies” — as the star of DirectTV’s popular (and super funny) “Arts & Craftsy Tony Romo” commercial.
Although the commercial was meant to poke fun at him (and to sell DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket package), we in Life & Arts loved “Arts & Craftsy Tony Romo”! So, to get our readers pumped for the start of the NFL season, we put together an arts-and-crafts contest.
We asked readers to use their most artsy, crafty, creative skills to create a likeness of Romo. The entries we received, from folks ages 7 to 88, ranged from drawings and paintings to pâpier-maché busts and even a Tony “R’okra” made of, yes, okra.
It was tough choosing just one winner, even with our trusty sports department involved — so we decided a bunch of ’em get bragging rights as winning entries. Here are a dozen of our favorites. You’ll find more photos of these, and other entries, at Star-Telegram.com/living.
Robert C. Penny, 66, Aledo
About his entry: “My name is Robert Penny and I am a 66-year-old recent retiree who resides in Aledo. I elected to start oil painting lessons two years ago, and I was referred to renowned artist Doug Prine of Nemo, Texas. With Doug’s guidance and encouragement, I have developed a true passion for painting.
“I jumped at the opportunity to enter this fun contest. I thought it would be enjoyable to paint Tony being enshrined into the Hall of Fame with the bust representing ‘Crownie.’ I had a blast!”
Bonnie Robison Collins, 88, Joshua
About her entry: “I am 88 years old and have jars of old buttons. My son grows gourds and I had plenty of time to create Tony ‘Gourdo.’ This won’t be your winner, but I bet it is one of the most unusual entries you receive.”
Joe Vess, 65, Tolar
About his entry: “Basically, I used a box for Tony’s shoulders and a plastic bottle for his head. With the help of bunches of Duck Tape and lots of caulk, I used the good ole Star-Telegram for my papier-mache creation by paying close attention to Tony’s facial details … like his ears, chin, the cute grin and even his dimples.”
David Wardlaw, 7, Fort Worth
About his entry: “Tony is a great player and I’m one of his biggest fans. I love the way he plays. I hope I can meet him one day and go to the Cowboys stadium.”
Heather Taylor, 26, North Richland Hills
About her entry: “I worked on this piece myself and I needed an exercise to get my mind into creating art again. I began by drawing this outline from a picture I got off the Internet and working on the football, arms, white of the jersey and face in graphite. I then worked on the color part using chalk pastels and charcoal (for the shading and highlights). Finally, I sprayed the piece with fixative to prevent smearing.”
Susan Hanson, 53, Midlothian
About her entry: “I love to do crafty things that are funny. I’m not very good with a sewing machine — more of a hot glue and paint crafter, but here it is! It is sewn out of felt with stuffing and fabric paint. I love the Cowboys but can find them frustrating at times so thought this was perfect!”
William Dwinnell, 82, Grapevine
About his entry: “Constructed of materials from the recycle bin: brown paper towels in pieces, strips, shreds or twisted; newspapers, corrugated cardboard. Put together with duct tape, white glue and Mod Podge. Eyes are made of white paper napkin. Eyeglasses frames are of paper wrapped over wire, and lenses are cut from a piece of clear plastic product packaging. Necklace beads are rolled-up strips of newspaper.”
Daniel McDonald, 27, Euless
About his entry: “Nothing says arts and crafts to me like construction paper and glue. I started off by tracing a photo of Tony and re-creating him in my illustration style. The tricky part was cutting all of the pieces out and placing them back in just the right spots. We all know Roger Staubach as the original Captain, but Tony Romo has been that for us in our generation. Here’s to smooth sailing to Super Bowl 50. Go, Cowboys!”
Julie Wende, 59, Fort Worth
About her entry: “I think he looks like a hybrid between Bill Murray and Ted Cruz. I’m also sorry his head seems to be so big he’s going off the canvas. It is not in my skill set to psycho-analyze.”
Ann Wolz, 69, Arlington
About her entry: “Say hello to Tony R’okra — created from dried okra, modeling clay and assorted embellishments. Tony, Tony, he’s our man! (Or okra!)”
Raina Rumalla, 9, Southlake
About her entry: “I made Tony Romo’s face from the crownies ad out of Perler beads. I made this by myself by putting beads on a peg board and then ironing them together.”
Emily Armstrong, 14, Fort Worth
About her entry: “Once I stopped laughing after many times of rewinding the artsy craftsy commercial, I found the best still shot I could of Tony showing off his crownies. I then picked up my pad and pencil and drew the grooviest Romo I have ever seen.”