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Why Is Tony Romo Not On Injured Reserve?

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Headlines - Explaining Why Tony Romo Is Not On Injured Reserve 1

When the curtains closed on the misery that was the 2015 Dallas Cowboys season we all dreamed about this week, Week 1, and its ensuing glory. We closed the curtains and our eyes, and we saw Tony Romo's valiant return as the centerpiece of the Dallas Cowboys. 12 days ago when he was lying on the field in Seattle... that dream turned into a nightmare.

We've seemingly woken up from this nightmare - perhaps only momentarily - as the Cowboys have currently decided to keep Tony Romo on the active roster, despite a prognosis that he would require 6-10 weeks of recovery time. What does that timetable have to do with this roster decision? When should Tony Romo come back? We've got the answers for you as always, here at Inside The Star.

What Would Putting Romo On IR Mean In Terms Of Time He Misses?

When NFL teams suffer the loss of a player for the whole season they typically put said player on the Injured Reserve list. This is like putting a player back on the shelf for the rest of the season, while keeping him as a member of that club, giving you the freedom to fill that roster spot with someone who can contribute now. Fairly simple stuff.

Beginning in 2012 the NFL implemented a "short-term IR" rule that allowed a team to only shelve a player temporarily. This unique IR spot is limited to one usage per team and requires that the player whom it is used on sit out at least six weeks before being eligible to practice and eight weeks before being eligible to return to the active roster. We saw the Cowboys use this exact distinction on Tony Romo just a season ago.

Cowboys Headlines - Explaining Why Tony Romo Is Not On Injured Reserve

There is a small change to this rule beginning this season. Previously the team using this "short-term IR" had to decide to use this when initially placing the player on IR. The IR Designation To Return (proper rule name) now does not need to be announced ahead of time. You can have one, three, five, or infinity players on Injured Reserve and see how their health is progressing before you exercise this option on the player you choose. This is the option that the Cowboys currently have with Tony Romo.

Should the Cowboys at any point decide to put Tony Romo on IR with the Designation To Return it would mean that he would have to sit out six weeks before being able to practice and eight weeks before being eligible to return to the active roster. This clock begins when you place the player, in this case Romo, on IR and tracks weeks - not games.

What Does Keeping Tony Romo On The Active Roster Cost The Cowboys?

The current plan is for Tony Romo to be on the Cowboys 53-Man Roster, but be one of the seven inactive players on Sundays until he is ready for a return. For as long as this is the case... Tony Romo is technically burning a roster spot.

Now it isn't a total match burn as some teams carry three quarterbacks and leave one inactive on Sundays anyway. When you look at the 2016 Cowboys though, you have to wonder if that spot could be better used in the interim on a guy like Deji Olatoye or a pass rusher that could seriously help what looks like a porous defense on paper.

What Can We Discern From Tony Romo Not Being Placed On IR?

Tony Romo's timetable to return is somewhere in the range of 6-10 weeks. As placing him on IR with the Designation To Return would sideline him for at least eight game weeks (having him return November 6th in Cleveland), the Cowboys must feel that Romo will be ready sooner.

The Cowboys have their Bye in Week 7 this season, so say Romo will miss 6-7 weeks. That would put him on track to return just one week before the Browns game for an October 30th home date against the Eagles right after the Bye. It actually makes a lot of sense for the Cowboys to simply carry Romo, while hoping their roster remains intact everywhere else, so that they can hold on to the IR with Designation To Return in case another player needs it down the road.

What do you think of this roster move regarding Tony Romo? Is it the right call? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at RJ@RJOchoaShow.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

Tell us what you think about "Why Is Tony Romo Not On Injured Reserve?" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jess Haynie

    Jess Haynie

    September 6, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Was there anyone worth keeping in street clothes all year so that you lose your flexibility on Romo’s return date? I don’t think you could argue that there was.

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Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

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Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!



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DeMarcus Lawrence Named Top Free Agent Of The 2019 Class

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Much has been made about the Dallas Cowboys 2019 free agent class. Dallas has a ton of cap space moving forward, but they are going to "have" to pay many of the key players on their roster over the next two offseasons in order to keep their young core together.

Of course, when you're drafting, that's the goal. To draft so well that when your own players become free agents, you go ahead and pay them to keep them around, rather than overpay on the free agent market for external players.

One of the major pieces the Cowboys will have to retain this offseason is defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. And while Cowboys Nation often thinks of Lawrence as underrated around the league, the NFL has caught onto his importance as he enters free agency this Spring.

ESPN.com ranked their top 10 free agents for 2019, with DeMarcus Lawrence clocking in at number one, over elite players like Jadeveon Clowney and Le'Veon Bell.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

ESPN's top 10 free agents for 2019 and what Le'Veon Bell should be looking to command based on previous measures. https://t.co/aJ7H1n001t

DeMarcus Lawrence is going to command big time money, likely even Khalil Mack-type money. But the fact of the matter is that he has earned it. Lawrence has been the heart and soul of the Cowboys defensive line the last two seasons, and the most consistent edge player on the team as well.

Not only has he been an effective pass rusher, but DeMarcus Lawrence also plays with a relentless motor against the run that can sometimes be rare to find in those premier pass rushers. He really is a jack of all trades at defensive end, and should be priority number one for the Cowboys this offseason.

Thankfully, I can't imagine the Cowboys not retaining DeMarcus Lawrence and extending him in the coming months.



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When it Mattered Most, Cowboys Offensive Line Protected Dak Prescott

John Williams

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All-22 Notes: Connor Williams Stands Out in Wild Card Win

Throughout the 2018 NFL season, one of the major story lines surrounding the Dallas Cowboys was how frequently Dak Prescott was taking sacks. It's an area that the Cowboys will have to look at in the offseason to better protect their franchise quarterback moving forward. In the playoffs, however, Dak Prescott and the offensive line were much better at keeping their prized possession upright than they were in the regular season.

In the regular season, Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times for an average of 3.5 times a game. There was only one game where he wasn't sacked at all, way back in week two against the New York Giants. Four times this season, the Cowboys' quarterback was sacked five or more times. The New Orleans Saints got him for a season high seven times.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dak was "kept clean" -- not pressured -- on 63% of his drop backs during the regular season, which ranked 25th in the NFL. When kept clean, Prescott completed 74.1% of his passes, which was good for 5th in the NFL during the regular season. He was under pressure 37% of the time, which was the sixth highest rate in the NFL and his completion percentage dropped to 52.6%, still good for 10th in the NFL. It was better than Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Baker Mayfield.

During the playoffs, Prescott's "kept clean" percentage rose from 63% to 68% and he was only sacked once in each game. The one sack against the Los Angeles Rams probably shouldn't have been called a sack as the referee blew the whistle because Prescott was "in the grasp"...

...of his offensive lineman.

During the playoffs, the Cowboys offensive line kept the pressure off of Prescott at a better rate, allowing him to be pressured on only 31.9% of his drop backs. Meaning he was kept clean at an improved rate from the regular season at 68.1% of his drop backs. This while playing against two teams that are really good at rushing the passer. The Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks both finished in the top half of the league in sacks this season and feature players like Aaron Donald, Jarran Reed, and Frank Clark who all had double-digit sacks.

As we know, pressure rates and sacks aren't all completely on the offensive line. The quarterback, wide receivers, and the play calling all factor in, but the Cowboys are trending in the right direction with their pass protection. A full offseason for Connor Williams in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program, better health for Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and -- fingers crossed -- Travis Frederick, should all help the offensive line play at a higher level heading into the 2019 season.

It can't be overstated how important it will be to get Travis Frederick back into the fold this season. Joe Looney was good, and that might be overstating it a bit. He was not noticeable on most plays during the season, but getting your All-Pro center back will tremendously help the offense in every facet of the game. Frederick's one of the smarter players in the NFL, who helps everyone on the offense to see the blitzes and calls out the protections. Both his mental and physical ability will be a welcomed site when the Cowboys begin practicing in the offseason.

With another year of growth for the quarterback and for the young pieces along the offensive line, and with a full offseason for Dak Prescott to grow with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin, the Cowboys should be better next season at keeping the quarterback clean.



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