The Dallas Cowboys have one of the biggest fan bases of any sports organization in the entire world. Unfortunately, that means some of us fans are actually living in enemy territory. This is true for me because I live in the Houston Texans market and have heard for over a decade how much they dislike Tony Romo. That is why I don't believe Texans fans deserve to have Romo as their starting quarterback.
Living in the great state of Texas you are either a fan of the Houston Texans or Dallas Cowboys. I happen to be a fan of America's Team, but have plenty of friends and family who root for the Texans. Actually, I'm a bit of a rarity and root for both teams, but my loyalty will always lie with my boys in blue.
Putting down Tony Romo is one of the favorite things that Texans fans like to do. Unfortunately, the majority of these people truly don't understand how good of a QB he is or the things he has accomplished during his tenure in the NFL. They are simply misinformed or uneducated. It's understandable, but it's time to set the facts straight.
Tony Romo: The Proof is in the Pudding
The phrase "the proof is in the pudding" couldn't be more fitting for how a lot of people, especially Houston Texans fans, perceive Tony Romo as a quarterback in the NFL. "The proof is in the pudding" basically means that you have to experience something for yourself before casting judgment on whether it is good or not. Fitting right?
I've heard from Texans fans for over a decade now that Tony Romo isn't a good quarterback and that he chokes when the game is on the line. Things couldn't be further from the truth. Romo is not only one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL right now, but one of the best to ever play the game, and I can prove it.
- Passer Rating: (97.1) Romo is ranked 4th among active QBs and 4th all-time
- Completion Percentage: (65.3%) ranked 3rd among active QBs and 5th all-time
- Fourth-Quarter Comebacks: (25) tied 5th with Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan
- Passing Yards Per Attempt: (7.9) tied 3rd with Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers
- Game-Winning Drives: (30) ranked 7th among active QBs
* All statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com
As you can see, Tony Romo has one of the best passer ratings in the entire history of the NFL for a QB. He also has one of the better completion percentages in the history of the league. It really isn't all that surprising if you've ever watched him play the game.
But, this is where I like to prove Texans fans wrong. The preconceived notion that he can't win when the game is on the line is absolute nonsense, evidenced by his fourth-quarter comebacks. This number would even be higher if not for his recent injury problems. The same can be said about his game-winning drives.
Of course, this won't convince a lot of Houston Texans fans, because they already have their minds made up about who Tony Romo is as a player. That's okay, some people just don't like to admit when they're wrong. But, that's why I don't believe the Texans fans deserve Romo as their quarterback.
Injury History: Tony Romo vs. J.J. Watt
The other top argument that Houston Texans fans like to use against Tony Romo is that he is injury prone. This unfortunately is a valid argument, but when I bring up the topic of J.J. Watt having a similar injury history, if not worse, they simply don't agree.
You see, it's all about perception and to Texans fans, Watt is a football "God". As such, he simply cannot be compared to Tony Romo, but they would be wrong once again.
There is no denying Tony Romo has a long list of injuries over his 10+ seasons in the NFL as the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback. But, none of those are on the serious side of the spectrum, except for maybe his back injuries.
Romo's first back injury was in 2013. A herniated disc ended his season and would eventually require surgery. In 2014, he fractured the transverse process in his back in two places, but returned to the starting lineup two weeks later. His latest back injury was in the third preseason game of 2016 against the Seattle Seahawks where he fractured a vertebrae.
Out of all of Romo's injuries, he has only had to have surgery once in his career, the same can't be said for J.J. Watt.
Like Romo, J.J. Watt also suffered a herniated disc that would ultimately require surgery in 2015. Watt went through the entire rehab process heading into the 2016, but unfortunately once again reinjured his back, requiring surgery for second time. If you're counting, that's two back surgeries in consecutive seasons.
You can see for yourself that Houston Texans fans don't really have much room to talk in regards to Tony Romo's injury history. This is especially true if they can't admit to themselves that J.J. Watt's injuries were worse and required surgery.
After listening to Houston Texans fans continuously bash Tony Romo over the years, I don''t think they are deserving of his services. I do however think it is a really good fit for Romo to continue his playing career, especially since he would be joining my second favorite team in the NFL.
Maybe, just maybe, Romo can come to Houston and prove to all of his doubters just how good of a QB he actually is. I would personally like to see all of these Houston fans eat crow when a 36-year-old QB comes in and instantly becomes the best quarterback to play for the organization.
Unfortunately, we're going to have to wait and see where he ultimately ends up once the Dallas Cowboys finally decide what to do with him.
Do you think Houston Texas fans deserve Tony Romo as their QB?
The Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle is Heating Up
Earning a spot on the Dallas Cowboys final 53-man roster is going to be a lot tougher in 2018 then it has been in years past. There is no shortage of position battles taking place right now to earn one of those coveted openings, but it's the battle taking place at receiver that's gaining steam and starting to heat up.
The ultimate unknown right now is how many wide receivers the Dallas Cowboys choose to carry on their 53-man roster this season. Last year they decided to carry six, but they have been known to carry just five. Unfortunately, this means they will have to release some talented players and risk losing them to another team.
As things stand right now there may just be one, possibly two, roster spots up for grabs. I think the only thing we know for sure right now is Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin are the only WRs who can feel secure their jobs are safe for 2018. Everybody else is playing a game of Survivor, just hoping their name isn't the one written down and their torch isn't snuffed out.
Terrance Williams' flame may be safe due to his current contract. The Dallas Cowboys can't save anything by releasing him, but it doesn't cost them that much either. It's unlikely he has a future with the team, so if someone were to prove themselves more worthy, his flame could be extinguished.
Last season I thought Noah Brown was ready to unseat Williams, but that never really materialized. Unfortunately, Brown hasn't really shown up as much as I thought he would this offseason, and missing the game against the San Francisco 49ers last week didn't do him any favors either. This doesn't bode well for him moving forward.
Deonte Thompson was signed as a free agent to provide some veteran experience and speed to the passing game, but that in no way means his job is secure. He needs to do something to show up a little more because his age and salary means a younger up-and-coming WR could make him expendable.
Second-year WR Lance Lenoir Jr. might just be the receiver who has stirred things up the most. He has not only created a buzz for himself in offseason practices, but he was able to carry it over into the preseason last week against the 49ers. His arrow trajectory is definitely pointing upwards.
I'd definitely hate to be the one to decide who stays and who goes when final cuts are made. It's not going to be an easy decision to make, because the outcome will definitely have an impact on the team's success this year.
All of these players were brought into help Quarterback Dak Prescott and the passing game reach new heights, so making the wrong move could be detrimental. The number of wide receivers and who the Dallas Cowboys decide to keep might be the most important decision they make before the season starts.
How would you predict the Dallas Cowboys WR position battle turning out?
Any Concern About Dan Bailey Not Playing Against 49ers?
With all the excitement of the Dallas Cowboys finally playing in a game last week against the San Francisco 49ers, it may have escaped your attention that Dan Bailey remained on the sideline the entire time. He didn't attempt one field goal or kick off once last Thursday, which in my opinion is a little concerning.
Dan Bailey joined Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee on the sideline as a healthy scratch last week. The decision to sit both Zeke and Sean Lee makes sense due to the physical demands of their positions, but sitting Bailey was a bit of a head scratcher. After all, it's not like he plays a physically demanding position like the other two.
I know. I know. Dan Bailey is an integral part for the Cowboys success moving forward. I'm not arguing that he's not, but after sitting out the majority of the 2017 season with a groin injury and lingering concerns about his health this year, not playing him at all against the 49ers is a bit confusing.
I don't believe there is any kind of kicking competition between Dan Bailey and Brett Maher, who handled all of the kicking duties against the 49ers last Thursday. Bailey will be the Cowboys kicker when the 2018 season gets underway in just a few short weeks. But, the question remains… Why didn't he receive any playing time?
Dan Bailey was never quite the same last season once he returned from his injury. Something was off and I don't know if it was more mental or physical, maybe a little of both. He just wasn't splitting the uprights like his normal self.
Unfortunately, we have seen this kind of thing happen in the past with one of the Cowboys kickers. Nick Folk went through a similar situation with an injury and never really bounced back. I'm just hoping history doesn't repeat itself.
Obviously, the Dallas Cowboys know more about what's going on with Dan Bailey than I do. But, you would think they'd have allowed him to attempt a field goal or at least an extra point in a game situation to build up his confidence once again. It's what I would have done.
Hopefully I'm just being a little paranoid and I'm reading more into this than there actually is. But, the fact I haven't heard any reasoning as to why Dan Bailey was held out last week is sitting a little uneasy with me. I'm just hoping it was precautionary in order to keep him as healthy as possible for the upcoming season.
Should we be concerned Dan Bailey was a healthy scratch last week?
Week 1 NFC East Predictions and Cowboys Season Outlook
Let me start this article with a strong opening statement: The Cowboys will be better in 2018 than they were in 2017. There's been a lot of talk about the lack of a true No. 1 receiver. But when we break it down, the current setup will most likely play out better for Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.
The Dak Stats
Certain quarterbacks shine when they have that go-to playmaker. We're talking about guys like Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Calvin Johnson, Ocho Cinco, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, and Dez Bryant. But other QBs do better at reading the defense and quickly adapting to what is given. Dak Prescott is the latter breed of QB.
Let’s do a quick numbers exercise to prove this.
When Prescott is targeting 8 or more receivers throughout the game, his passer rating jumps from 86.1 (targeting less than 8) to 104.5. He passes for almost 50 yards more per game and his touchdown to interception ratio drastically improves from 21-13 to 24-4.
Most importantly, when he targets at least 8 different receivers, the Cowboys are 14-2. When he targets less than 8, the team is just .500 at 8-8.
Without a doubt, Prescott is much better at adjusting to what the defense is giving him. He just isn’t one of those guys who can successfully "force" the ball (like Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees). Not feeling the pressure of having to get the ball into the hands of the star playmaker will give this offense a new kind of depth in 2018.
Yes, losing Jason Witten hurts, much more so in my opinion than not having Dez.
Questions Still Loom
This is still the Cowboys' biggest concern on offense. There is some great depth. We have Rico Gathers, Blake Jarwin, Geoff Swaim, and the young stud out of Stanford, Dalton Schultz. But between the three who have any NFL experience, there are only 9 catches between them. I must say that Dalton, with his 4.75 40-yard dash, has a legitimate shot at seeing a lot of playing time in his rookie campaign and could become an impact player with his size (6’5”, 244-lbs) and speed.
But despite the battle for TE being wide open, and debates about whether or not the team needs a No. 1 receiver, the Cowboys are still expected to give the Eagles a run for their money in the NFC East. Here are the odds on the defending NFC East champions and how (although early) it is expected to shake out:
- Philadelphia Eagles -167
- Dallas Cowboys +350
- New York Giants +650
- Washington Redskins +750
NFC East Week 1 Predictions
The Cowboys open the season in a difficult road game against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have been listed as 2.5-point favorites (follow the Cowboys NFL Odds here all season long) which isn’t surprising considering they are a tough team playing at home. You might be thinking, "crap, we're opening up as underdogs?" Don’t worry too much; it actually bodes fairly well because the lines-makers generally give a 3-point advantage to the home team. This means that they actually handicap the Cowboys to be a half-point favorite on a neutral field and a 3.5-point favorite in Arlington.
The Redskins open their season in Arizona against the Cardinals. The line is set at a pick ‘em (meaning there is no point spread; it's anyone's game). But, looking at the 'Skins and Cardinals, I think Washington gets disappointed in Week 1 and starts their season with a loss.
The Giants get to test their new offensive line and see if they were right in continuing to place their faith in Eli Manning against the best defense in the league. The Jags are 3-point favorites at MetLife stadium. This means the Jags are actually 6-points better. I do think that the Giants will be vastly improved this season, but they are also going to open with a loss.
The Eagles don’t have it easy either, but they will probably pull out the win at home as 4-point favorites against the Dirty Birds on Thursday Night Football. Their defense is just too good. Atlanta's road offense scored just 21 points per game last year while Philly scores 28 on average at home. The Eagles' home defense has been downright nasty, only allowing 12 points per game in Philadelphia.
This will be a two-horse race for the division between the Eagles and Cowboys. And even if the Eagles win the East, the Cowboys will wildcard into the playoffs.
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