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.
DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line
The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.
The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.
After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.
So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.
What exactly is that role, though?
I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.
Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.
Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.
If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.
This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.
New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF
On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.
Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.
In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.
This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb
Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.
Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly brining defensive lineman Malik McDowell into The Star this week for a visit, as they decide whether or not to potentially sign him for the 2019 season.
McDowell is a former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who fell to day two because of what scouts call "off the field" or "character" concerns. McDowell did not last long with Seahawks, as he was released in 2017 following an ATV accident in which he reportedly suffered "extensive brain and eye trauma" according to Charles Robinson.
None of us know much about who Malik McDowell is as a person, or what concerns their really should be with his health. But what I do know is that on tape at Michigan State, McDowell was a top 5-10 player in the 2017 draft class. He was a stud, and has the traits to continue to be a stud in the NFL.
The 2017 NFL Draft is chock full of talented, athletic, and productive defensive linemen. While most of the draft pundits have focused on EDGE rushers thus far, the defensive tackle class also possesses some of this year's top NFL prospects. Arguably the best of those defensive tackles is Michigan State's Malik McDowell.
Back in 2017 I wrote a full scouting report on McDowell, detailing why he earned such a high grade on my board. McDowell is a versatile linemen who is explosive off the ball, powerful and rangy against the run, and a skilled pass rusher who plays with a high motor. What more could you really ask for?
"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.
On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
When the Spartans went to a three man pass rushing front, McDowell moved to the EDGE often and made plays with his quick, active hands and impressive swim move. He was much more impressive on the interior, however, and could be a direct replacement for David Irving as an explosive and powerful 3-technique for the Cowboys.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
I love that the Cowboys are bringing McDowell in for a free agent visit. His price will likely be low, as he is yet to play in an NFL game over the last two years, but his ceiling remains very high if he is healthy. It's rare for a player with his college production, natural ability, and measurables to completely fail in the NFL.
Maybe all McDowell needs is a second chance to get his head right and prove that he belongs in the league. Maybe he flames out quickly and can't get on the field due to "off the field" stuff. Or, maybe he simply isn't healthy enough to contribute as an NFL player. Regardless, for the price he'll likely command, McDowell is well worth the risk if the Cowboys are willing to take it.
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