In regard to the Dallas Cowboys there are two sides to Tony Romo. There is Tony Romo the Quarterback and there is Tony Romo the honorary member of the Jones family. Tony will forever be part of the Jones’ extended family but today we’re discussing the Quarterback side of Tony Romo.
Tony Romo is no longer the Starting Quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. This is a fact that snuck up on all Cowboys fans as the team’s 2016 winning streak grew.
What many Cowboys fans are still struggling to understand, though, is that barring a major injury to Dak Prescott, or some ceremonial situation where Tony takes a snap and a knee to closeout the NFC Championship game (likely Tony’s final moment as a member of the Cowboys in Dallas), Tony Romo will never play Quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys again.
We all know what Tony Romo has given to Dallas over the last decade but right now the focus of this team and its legion needs to be on the present and future.
Tony Romo the Quarterback is now just an emergency QB option, and an asset waiting to be traded.
One of the most frequent questions I am asked is if I think Tony might play in place of Dak in Week 17, whether it’s for the entire game or even just a half.
There is simply too much risk with Tony Romo to do that, both from a performance standpoint and an injury standpoint.
Lets talk about performance first
In 2015, after Tony returned from injury, he simply wasn’t himself. He threw five INTs on 49 passes in the Week 11 & 12 games against the Dolphins and Panthers. Historically, 2.7% of Tony’s 4,331 passes have been intercepted. Over 49 passes during those two weeks, 10% of Tony’s passes were intercepted.
If Tony comes in and plays and doesn’t look like 2014 Romo, the team has hurt the value of its most valuable trade asset.
What if Tony lights it up Week 17, then the Cowboys lose early in the playoffs with a bad game from Dak? Chaos ensues.
Right now everyone knows who is the Starting Quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. If that situation unfolded in Week 17 and the Cowboys first playoff game, the offseason would be a disaster. ESPN wouldn’t be able to stop itself from the non-stop QB controversy coverage. Think of Skip Bayless and his Tebow talk and multiply that by a billion billions.
Let’s talk about injury now
Including preseason games, Tony Romo has suffered three major injuries in his last 56 pass attempts. Clavicle. Clavicle. Back. Those three injuries have all occurred just since September 20, 2015 against Philadelphia.
56 PASS ATTEMPTS. 3 MAJOR INJURIES.
The Cowboys simply cannot risk another major injury just three months before Jerry and Stephen Jones attempt to start a bidding war for the future services of Tony Romo.
So why is Tony the game day backup if the Cowboys have no interest in getting him any snaps?
There is a difference between wanting him to play and him being forced into action. If Dak goes down with an injury, you want Tony Romo getting snaps. Tony then becomes the ticket to the Super Bowl. They will give Tony snaps if forced to but the Cowboys cannot risk injury or poor performance over garbage-time snaps, just to give him snaps.
If anyone is going to see garbage time snaps, expect it to be Mark Sanchez, if he is indeed active Week 17.
A lot of people have argued that no team is going to give anything major in trade for Tony Romo. Did you see what the Vikings gave up for Sam Bradford? IT’S SAM BRADFORD, folks.
Tony Romo has a very tradable contract
Tony is only owed $14m in 2017, $19.5m in 2018, $20.5m in 2019, and none of that money is guaranteed. Jerry and Stephen will sell that as “the next two years for $33.5m total, $16.75m per year.”
There will be some team that thinks they’re just a Quarterback away from success, just like the Vikings felt they were. Someone will bite.
I know this article felt cold and harsh, but that’s just how business is. Business transactions don’t have feelings in these moments. Sure, Jerry and Stephen will likely let Romo have some say in where he goes. Tony Romo likely never moves out of the Dallas area and probably returns to work with the team in some capacity after retirement.
But, barring some major injury to Dak, Tony is just sitting on a bench waiting for the next train to an unknown destination.