Cowboys pay tribute to Marc Colombo

IRVING, Texas – As the Cowboys have worked through the draft process, more than once coaches and scouts have asked, “Is this guy a Colombo?”

Maybe it was fitting that the team officially announced Colombo’s retirement on Wednesday, a day before the NFL draft begins.

"I've had the pleasure of being around a lot of people in this game," head coach Jason Garrett said. "But Marc is in the front of the class. That's the ultimate compliment I can give him. You get inspired by Marc Colombo every day you're around him. There are certain guys that give those tingles down your spine. Marc Colombo is one of those guys."

Colombo started every game he played for the Cowboys from 2006-2010 after joining the team in 2005. He played last year with Miami following his release from the Cowboys. Before the 2011 season finale, Colombo said he called former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells to let him know it was his final game and received a warm message back from Parcells.

When he made it official, he called owner and general manager Jerry Jones asking if he could retire as a Cowboy.

“I don't know when we've ever had a player that played in a position of a unit that would impact the ethos and attitude of what we were on the offensive line any more than Marc,” Jones said.

Said Colombo, "I felt like this is the first thing I wanted to do when my time was up – come back here to the Dallas Cowboys organization and remember what we did here. I'm excited about this football team for the future. For you guys to take an average, hard-working guy like me and make a big deal like this, it's greatly appreciated."