5 Simple Reasons Why The Cowboys Would Be Idiots To Start Romo Over Dak
The mere thought that Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys organization would automatically hand Tony Romo his job back after what has gone down over the last five games should seem laughable. Yet an entire country of NFL fans waits with baited breath to see what happens once Romo is finally cleared to play again.
Most of that is due to the stance of the Cowboys owner - and old white dude doing his best impression of a character from a 1940's western - Jerry Jones. At the start of the season, Jones made it clear that he had every intention of sticking with Romo once the 36-year-old QB returns to whatever semblance of "health" he is able to achieve at this point in his life.
Then just last week, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora quoted a source that piggybacked off that same sentiment by asserting that there was "zero chance" that Romo wouldn't start once he's cleared to play.
"The Cowboys' brass believes it will have a more robust, well-rounded offense with Romo back under center, and that he is best positioned to cull the maximum production out of their array of weapons in the passing game," wrote La Canfora.
Then in Week 6, Prescott and the Cowboys went on the road and manhandled the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Subsequently, here's what Jones told CBS Radio in Dallas:
Now this could be interpreted in a multitude of ways, but one thing is for certain: a man who is generally very straightforward about his belief in Tony Romo is all of the sudden speaking quite cryptically. Take that for what you will for right now, and let's just go ahead and break down all of the simplest and most obvious reasons why there is absolutely no chance that the Cowboys ditch Dak in favor of Romo, at least not right away.
1. The Cowboys are winning games.
You've heard the old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" right? Well it's as easy as that.
With rookie Dak Prescott at the helm, the Cowboys are 5-1 and are arguably one of maybe three genuinely great teams in the NFL right now along with the Patriots and the Vikings. And they're for damn sure the best team in the NFC East. Things aren't just working for the Cowboys right now. Things are clicking and the team is coming into its own during a time when almost every other team in the league is struggling to find its rhythm and/or identity.
2. You don't sit a guy that has Dak Prescott's numbers.
We talk all the time about the lack of real, reliable talent at the quarterback position in the NFL. If you look around the league, there are maybe five or six guys who are truly capable of performing well on a regular basis. And sure, for all we know Prescott could flame out next week, never to return. But right now his numbers are undeniable. Like, unreal levels of undeniable.
Prescott through Week 6, 2016
Completion %: 68.7
Yards per Game: 248
Passer Rating: 103.9
And just to add a cherry on top of this sundae, it's worth noting that his passer rating hasn't dropped lower than 103.7 since Week 1. No one in their right mind would consider shutting this guy down cold turkey to start a graying veteran whose clavicle could potentially shatter from a stiff breeze.
3. Since 2006, Tony Romo has started the season just 5-1 twice.
In other words, The Cowboys with Prescott are currently keeping up with the Romo Cowboys at their best. The 2014 season was Romo's career high statistically. The Cowboys started the season 5-1 and finished at 12-4, making it to the NFC divisional round before narrowly losing to the Packers . Here are what his stats looked like for the best season of his career:
Romo, 2014 Regular Season
Completion %: 69.9
Yards per Game: 247
Passer Rating: 113.2
Keep in mind that if you exclude his weak Game 1 performance (which is currently a statistical outlier), Prescott is currently on pace to score 30 touchdowns (passing & rushing combined) and throw 3 interceptions this season.
4. Sitting Dak Prescott right now would send the entirely wrong message to the team and the fans about what the Cowboys are looking to do.
Unlike Tom Brady, Tony Romo hasn't been out because he was suspended. He hasn't been in Capri tanning his bare butt and poking pins into a Roger Goodell voodoo doll. He's been recovering from a significant injury for the second time in a calendar year. Meanwhile, the team has been thriving offensively and defensively. The talented core of players that helped the team to the playoffs two seasons ago is fully fleshed out and now they have the x-factor: a healthy quarterback.
To disrupt that and sit the hottest quarterback in the NFL for a guy who has been barely functional for a year is an unequivocal message to the players and the fans that winning can and will take a backseat to nepotism. If Prescott's performance begins to dramatically decline or the complexities of an NFL offense begin to befuddle him as the season ticks on, then the organization can have the Romo conversation; and not a moment sooner.
5. Tony Romo would be the best backup quarterback in the NFL.
I'm not being facetious here. Romo is a great quarterback who has had flashes of brilliance throughout his career. As I mentioned, it was just two years ago that he led the team to a winning season and a decent showing in the playoffs. Now that he's aging and breaking down, the rest will only help him. The more time he has, the more likely he is to heal and condition and ready himself to play the savior if he is called upon. We've already seen what rushing Romo back into action looks like, and it's not great.
And he's never been older than he is right now. (#analysis)
Plus, if you want to stick to those Patriots references, we've also seen what can happen when a veteran quarterback who knows the system inside and out is called upon to step up in a big game. A lot of people forget that Drew Bledsoe was the quarterback for the Patriots 2001 AFC Championship win over the Steelers. His performance prompted a quarterback controversy over who would start in the Super Bowl. Obviously Brady got the start, and that probably wasn't the way that Bledsoe ideally wanted to win his only ring, but he played a vital part in winning his team their first ever Super Bowl.
That level of depth at the quarterback position is something that teams rarely get a shot at, let alone when their team is in the midst of a potentially championship caliber season. The Cowboys would be fools to waste that kind of opportunity.
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