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Romo Got Dak: Cowboys QB Situation A Good Problem To Have

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Cowboys Headlines - Romo Got Dak: QB Situation a Good Problem to Have

If Tony Romo is available week eight, who is the starting quarterback?

In a room full of Dallas Cowboys fans yesterday, I heard this question arise and spark intense discussion. The casual fan seemed to be convinced Dak Prescott should not hand over the job. Then, the Romo supporters weighed in.

As Prescott has stated, this is still Romo’s team. I tend to agree.

In the coming weeks, I fully expect to hear all sides of the argument. A lot of it, of course, depends on the record of the team over the course of the next four games. With Chicago, San Francisco, Cincinnati, and then Green Bay on the schedule, a record of 3-3 is realistic. 4-2 is optimistic.

If the team is in fact 5-1, and Prescott is continuing to develop and improve, then a conversation can be had. But overall, it depends on the play of Prescott.

He has executed the team’s game plan thus far this season. Limit mistakes, manage the game, and throw to the right guy. But as a rookie, his potential still seems slightly bottled up. Until he displays some consistent production on passes over 20 yards, I’m convinced Tony Romo is still the better option.

Not to say that it won’t come in due time however.

Either way, this story line will dominate headlines in the coming weeks. Proponents of Prescott will say he has done enough to keep rolling with him. Others will say there is no sense in disrupting team chemistry and stunting his growth by going with the injury prone Romo.

Besides the outside noise this quarterback “controversy” will bring, this is actually a good problem to have. I see no damage in going back to Romo. Sure he’ll be rusty at first, but he is still the better option. Tony Romo can stretch the field and help open up the run. He can make plays and throws that only a select number of starters can make in this league.

I also don’t buy the chemistry argument. Romo has played for years with everyone on this offense, minus some of the running backs. Also, if Dak Prescott came in week one on short notice and looked poised, who’s to say he won’t if Romo gets hurt again.

If he gets injured again, the team goes back to the rookie, who has shown poise and promise. No harm, no foul. I don’t buy into this hurting the team in any way, even though I suspect many will suggest otherwise. Tony Romo deserves another shot, knowing all too well, this could be his last.

For the first time in the decade plus Romo era, Dallas finally has something here in Prescott. Instead of putting a negative spin on things, fans need to just be happy with the situation and realize just how nice it is to be in this spot. It is officially a good problem to have.

This is Tony Romo’s team, but Dak Prescott knows it can be his too.

If Romo goes down again, I’ll cringe, yell, and feel horrible for a guy who just doesn’t want to hang it up. But I won’t mope. Instead, I’ll get right back up and cheer for Prescott.

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Die hard Dallas Cowboys fan behind enemy lines here in New Jersey. CBS Sports employee and contributor for InsideTheStar.com.

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4 Comments
  • Mathew Mcginty

    Dude you make no sense. If the coaches would let dak have plays that the receivers deeper then 20 yards you wouldn’t even have an article to write. I’m a big fan of Romo but Romo is nothing more then a back up anymore…

  • Rick

    I have no clue why anyone believes that Romo is going to stay healthy for an extended period ever again. He will be hurt within 3 weeks of a return. I have 0 faith in his health. He has broken bones in 3 of his last 6 appearances. He’s 36 with a surgically repaired back. Physically he does not have it anymore. How many more times do people need to see this guy scraped off the field before they accept it? He can’t take hits anymore!

    I also don’t believe lack of deep throws is the reason Romo should get the job back. Romo has never been good at throwing deep. It’s never been his strength. That throw Prescott made to Butler in the Dolphins preseason game (63 yards in the air) Romo couldn’t make that throw. The reason Dak isn’t throwing downfield more is because the conservative coaching staff won’t allow him to. It’s not because he can’t.

    • Justin Grohowski

      Rick, thanks for the comment. I just think Romo deserves one last shot at this thing. Maybe, just maybe, playing in 10 games instead of 16 actually keeps him on the field. He at least deserves one last shot at this, and it’s not like he doesn’t still give the team the best chance to win when he’s in. If you disagree with that, then that’s a whole other discussion in itself.

      I didn’t want to get into a detailed comparison between the two quarterbacks here, and it was my mistake to only include Prescott not stretching the field more as an example, because it seemed to come off to some readers that that was the only reason I would choose Romo over him at the moment. It’s not.

      Overall, I just wanted to illustrate here that this whole “QB Controversy” that the media will try and play up in the coming weeks/months is nothing but noise and that this is actually a good problem to have for the team. Prescott has handled himself so well with everything thus far, that sitting behind Romo, whether that be for the remainder of the season or 3 weeks as you wrote above, isn’t detrimental to him or the team.

      I would just expect him to step right back in and perform, like he has all preseason/season thus far.

  • http://me Jim Cole

    Romo can’t be the backup QB. As soon as he comes ion, he’ll get hurt and we have to go right to the
    number 3. Romo has to start and use Dak as number 2. Dak should be able to last the 8-11 games till Romo returns after Romo gets hurt. Romo could be number 1 or 3 but not 2.

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Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

The Cowboys have just one more game to get through without their star running back Ezekiel Elliott, but Alfred Morris and Rod Smith deserve a ton of credit for the way they’ve been able to fill in out of the backfield for Zeke Elliott. Throughout the time Elliott has missed though, the Cowboys have lacked the explosive plays on offense that he can provide – until Rod Smith was given an opportunity last week at the Giants.

Smith complimented Morris exceptionally well, running with quickness and power to prove his case for more of a role on offense behind Elliott moving forward. It was the Ohio State product’s consecutive touchdowns of 81 yards through the air and 15 yards on the ground that sealed the game for the Cowboys in week 14.

Here is a closer look at Rod Smith’s performance from last week in this latest Sean’s Scout.

Smith3 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

The Cowboys offensive line was dominant as always against a tough New York defensive front, and this first play is a great look at their execution in space and on the move. Rod Smith’s decisiveness when hitting the hole with speed and balance was the first thing I noticed on the game tape.

The best thing Smith does on this play comes at the second level, where running backs can truly make a difference in Dallas. As RG Zack Martin rides his man out of the play entirely, he gets in front of Smith who is seeing the play develop straight ahead. With his long strides, Smith is able to smoothly get through traffic and continue accelerating up field through arm tackles for a big gain.

Smith2 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

These same traits are seen with Rod Smith as a pass catcher – something he does effortlessly to also help fill the void left by Elliott. Watch how quickly Smith commits to his angle up the field after catching this dump pass from Dak Prescott, attacking a defender that has the angle on him after the catch.

Rod subtly leans to the right just enough to make the defender hesitate long enough to allow his burst to evade him and gain extra yards falling forward.

Smith4 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

Smith essentially does the same thing without the ball in his hands here, on his 81 yard catch and run for a touchdown. Setting up the safety out of the slot to be beat across his face, Smith separates from him at the stem and then does a great job getting depth on his route into the vacated middle of the field. With blockers to help him reach the end zone, Smith turns this busted coverage by the Giants into the game’s biggest play.

Smith1 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

This last play I chose to show is probably the least well-blocked attempt for Smith out of the ones in this Sean’s Scout, but there is still a lot to like about what Rod does here with the ball in his hands.

The Giants might be a two-win football team, but they still have marquee players up front, particularly DE Olivier Vernon. Smith does well here to keep his feet moving as he cuts this play to the backside. Vernon does well to limit the potential gain on this play by staying away from the block of Jason Witten, as Smith is taken down by Darian Thompson.

The numbers the Giants had to commit to stopping the run was still a huge reason why Prescott had a career day throwing the football, and Rod Smith’s readiness to step in at RB was a deciding factor in getting Dallas to 7-6.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Proving to be one of the Dallas Cowboys most valuable players, considering his cost (under contract through 2018), and ability to contribute on special teams and offense, Rod Smith is the perfect RB3 for this team.

Smith is not elite in any one area, and is not a prototypical RB from a physical standpoint, but his contributions as a runner, pass catcher, and blocker could remain critical to the Cowboys’ hopes of reaching the playoffs behind this offense – even when Ezekiel Elliott is back in the fold.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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La’el Collins’ Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise

Brian Martin

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La'el Collins' Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise 1

The decision by the Dallas Cowboys to move La’el Collins from left guard to right tackle was met by some skepticism by quite a few members of Cowboys Nation during the off-season. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was one of those skeptical of the move, but I’m not afraid to admit he has exceeded my expectations.

In all honesty, I always believed that La’el Collins’ best position in the NFL is on the interior of the offense of line as a guard. I thought he could use his strength and athleticism to his advantage when working in a phone booth against slower and less athletic defensive tackles. That’s not to say I didn’t think he would make a good right tackle, I just thought he had Pro Bowl potential as a guard.

Strangely enough, Collins has probably put together a Pro Bowl caliber season in his first season starting at the right tackle position for the Cowboys. He has become an upgrade over the previous starter Doug Free, and is really starting to earn high praise from the brass. Stephen Jones in particular has been impressed with Collins, especially considering how he has played after missing two full weeks of practice.

Mark Lane on Twitter

DallasCowboys COO Stephen Jones told @1053thefan La’el Collins has answered the bell after his contract extension.

I personally agree with everything Stephen Jones said about La’el Collins. I’ve really enjoyed watching his progression this season, but I have been really impressed how he played the last two weeks after missing so much practice.

You might not of known, but Collins has missed two full weeks of practice due to a herniated disc in his back. This is put his availability to play against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants in jeopardy, but somehow he has toughened up and played considerably well.

This unfortunately will be something he has to continue to battle through the rest of the season, but I’m not going to bet against him playing. He absolutely makes this offensive line better and I would hate to see Chaz Green or Byron Bell back on the field after the way they played as feel-ins.

La’el Collins has without a doubt earned my respect and I think it’s about time we all recognize the player he is turning into. I know the Dallas Cowboys appreciate all that he does and believe that his recent contract extension is money well spent.

What do you think about La’el Collins?

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Cowboys’ DE DeMarcus Lawrence Fed Up With NFL Officiating

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Crossroads: Is This a Short-Term or Long-Term Team? 2

The Dallas Cowboys were able to come away with a 30-10 victory over the New York Giants Sunday afternoon in what was described as a must-win situation in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Typically, when these two teams square off against one another there are sure to be some kind of fireworks in the ballgame, but the final volley of explosions didn’t go off until after the completion of the game during an interview with DeMarcus Lawrence.

DeMarcus Lawrence didn’t hold back in his post game interview, especially in regard to the NFL officiating. He let his frustrations known that he is fed up and that he’s not going to take it anymore. At least not quietly that is.

Lawrence, the NFL’s sack leader, ripped the officiating crew after the Giants game Sunday afternoon for not calling any holding penalties. There was actually one holding penalty called against the Giants, but the point Lawrence was trying to make still rings true.

Joe Trahan on Twitter

Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence goes on an explosive rant about officiating, in particular, a lack of holding calls by linemen against him. And yes, Lawrence realizes he a fine is coming, whether he’s got a point, or not. And yes, he probably does. https://t.co/UU51xQi05p

DeMarcus Lawrence certainly has a right to be mad and I don’t blame him at all for voicing his frustrations about the lack of holding calls against opposing offensive lineman. This actually adds more fuel to the fire that there is indeed an officiating conspiracy against the Cowboys.

In fact, you may or may not be surprised to learn that there have only been two holding penalties called on Cowboys’ opponents in the last 10 games, including the one against the Giants Sunday afternoon. For comparison sake, the Cowboys offensive line have been flagged 18 times during that time span.

It’s gotta be a coincidence, right? Maybe, maybe not. But, one thing is for sure… DeMarcus Lawrence has had enough!

Of course, Lawrence’s outburst will surely earn him a fine from the NFL, but it may be worth it if it draws more attention to the poor officiating the Cowboys have been receiving. I don’t know about you, but I for one am glad #90 will not “go gentle into that good night“.

Do you think DeMarcus Lawrence’s frustration is justified?

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