How many times have we seen it before? The star player, the face of the team is looking as good as ever. There is so much hope around the entire town, until the unthinkable happens. Down goes the all-star, and now the team is left with the inexperienced rookie. On the football field especially, when the leader goes down, there are some large shoes to fill.
I would not exactly call Tony Romo an elite winner. Labeled as the Cowboys starter since 2006, Romo has not been awful. He has a career winning percentage above .600, however he’s only reached the playoffs four times in his ten seasons. With those four playoff appearances under his belt, he has only won two career playoff games. There are certainly teams who have reached the playoffs less often, but the Cowboys have not looked like super bowl contenders under a Romo led offense. Then whenever things look like they might work out for Romo, something goes wrong.
Romo has been very injury prone over his career, and this season is not any different. During the preseason, Tony Romo faced an injury that doctors thought would put him on the sidelines for anywhere between six and ten weeks. The Cowboys had been rumored to be looking for a new quarterback for a while. A few years back, they were very high on Johnny Manziel, and had targeted quarterbacks since. Dallas felt as if Romo was capable of doing well, as he had proved in the past, but would not be looking for the new quarterback if the thought that Tony Romo was a champion. With their fourth round pick in this past NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Dak Prescott. They did not feel that Prescott would be their quarterback immediately, but with Romo’s injury, they were not left with much of a choice.
There was nothing but doubt surrounding the Cowboys offense after Romo went down. The Cowboys had one of if not the best offensive line in the NFL, but star wide receiver Dez Bryant also had injury issues that would hold him out for quite a bit of time. The Cowboys used their first round pick on rookie running back Ezekiel Eliot, but even though he is talented, he did not yet have any professional experience.
Here we are, halfway through the season. The Prescott led Cowboys are 6-1 and are sitting on top of the NFC. Their only loss came in week one, losing by only one point to the New York Giants. Prescott’s numbers are not eye popping. He’s around the middle of the pack in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, and just about every other passing category. However, he had the longest streak without an interception to start a career, which has served as a major contributor to doing what every NFL team looks to do. Win games.
Now though, Tony Romo is back. For now at least, he is healthy and ready to play. So now the question is, do you start the quarterback who you are paying big money to win you games, or do you keep doing what has been working? Do you start Romo or Dak?
Personally, I would roll with the hot hand. I believe that every player contributes to a win, even if the quarterback gets the most credit. The defense has performed very well, and Eliot has taken the league by storm. The entire team has worked well together, and a lot of that is due to the rookie playing under center. While he is not the whole team, we don’t usually see teams win without good quarterback play. When we do, it’s usually because there is a really good kicker able to bail out a Christian role model who doesn’t actually know how to throw a football. It would be absolutely foolish to start Romo at this point. Dak Prescott has been playing very well, and does not deserve to be benched when he is winning games. I get it. Romo was the starter, and he got hurt. He doesn’t deserve to have his career end. However, it would not be right to bench a quarterback who has led you to the best record in the NFC at the halfway point. Facing the Browns this week, that trend should continue. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The system with Dak is far from broken, and Romo is not going to fix anything. Prescott has gotten the team to where they are, and deserves the opportunity to take them even further.
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