With Tony Romo's future such a hot topic right now, any ripples in the pond are going to get attention. Lately, all of the ripples have been coming from the Denver Broncos.
Two prominent Broncos players have chimed in on the idea of adding Romo this week. What's more, Romo was just photographed hanging out with the greatest Bronco of all time and the current general manager.
At this point, there's little question that Romo will no longer be with the Dallas Cowboys in 2017. It seems now we're just trying to figure out how that will happen, either via a trade or just a release. Anything that makes it appear a team is truly interested in Tony, especially this early, is a good sign if you want Dallas to get something back in Romo's departure.
Let's look at each of these Denver-related ripples and see how telling they really are.
Emmanuel Sanders Wants Tony Romo
After four years with Ben Roethlisberger and two years with Peyton Manning, you can't blame Sanders if he has a high bar for who's throwing him passes. He went to the Super Bowl as a rookie and again last year, finally winning a championship. He saw firsthand what Manning's veteran presence did to help Denver claim the crown.
As recorded by Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk, Sanders would be very happy with the idea of Tony Romo taking over at quarterback for the Broncos:
“I believe I would benefit But one thing about it is: I’m always gonna take it back and I’m just gonna put it on John Elway. In John Elway I trust. If he does bring him over, I think Tony Romo will fit good in [offensive coordinator Mike] McCoy’s system. It’s a no-huddle, up-tempo offense. I think that it’s gonna be similar to the Cowboys. I think he has Demaryius Thomas and some receiver No. 10 on the other side. I feel like we will win ballgames with Tony Romo or potentially a championship."
To be fair, though, Sanders didn't completely forget about the guys who he worked with in 2016. Still, it was clear he didn't see them as the best options.
"At the same time, Paxton Lynch played in a spread offense at Memphis and he can be successful. I think Trevor can be successful. We’ll see what we do. I can’t sit up here and say ‘Bring Tony Romo!’ because I also have two other quarterbacks that are playing really well too.”
It's interesting to note that Denver already has the guy, Paxton Lynch, that the Cowboys coveted in last year's draft. How ironic would it be if Lynch got to spend a year or two behind Romo after all?
Clearly, Emmanuel Sanders has put some thought into this. His talk about the style of the offense and Romo's potential fit shows this wasn't just some spontaneous response. Given that, you have to wonder who else he's discussed this with in the Broncos organization.
DeMarcus Ware Wouldn't Mind a Reunion
For eight seasons in Dallas, Ware and Romo fought together to try to return the Cowboys to Super Bowl glory. After becoming a salary cap casualty in 2014, Ware joined up with Denver and finally got his ring. You know he would love to see Tony enjoy the same experience.
Like Emmanuel Sanders, Ware was positive when considering the possibility of Romo joining the Broncos. However, the 12-year veteran was a bit more careful in his remarks. He made sure not to throw the young quarterbacks under the bus, as reported by Troy Renck:
"(Romo) will be a great fit. But you got vested guys already in Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. You gotta think about the kind of message do you want to send to the team. Do you want to send to them just like when I came in (with) (Aqib) Tailb and Emmanuel -- is it a right now thing? Or do you want to use your vested guys sand say we are going to build this team way we want to build it?"
Even if Tony Romo joins the Broncos there's no guarantee that he would be playing with DeMarcus Ware. After only appearing in 10 games due to injury this year, Ware goes into 2017 as an unrestricted free agent. He turns 35 this summer and may have a hard time finding work, especially after season-ending back surgery.
Just Hanging Out With John Elway
Perhaps the most intriguing ripple came from a recent political event in Washington D.C. As you can see below, Tony Romo was in some interesting company.
Tony Romo with John Elway at House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's victory party (photo from @glennstearns):
At this time there is no official word that Tony Romo has been given permission to talk to other teams. If Romo and John Elway did discuss his coming to Denver, it would fall under the NFL's tampering rules. The Broncos would be subject to fines and potential loss of draft picks.
Let's get real, though. We know tampering happens and it's just a matter of who's smart about it. Romo and Elway could have easily talked shop over cocktails and nobody would ever know. Frankly, it's naive to think that they didn't.
~ ~ ~
If the Denver Broncos really do want Tony Romo, the next thought for us Cowboys fans is what we might get in return. It's very hard to answer that because we don't know just how much Denver feels they need him.
The Broncos do have a window to capitalize on their great defense, making it dangerous to wait on one of their young quarterbacks to develop. They may feel that adding Romo allows them to maximize their current talent and compete in the AFC now while Paxton Lynch or Trevor Siemian gets ready for the future.
Because they have those two guys, though, Denver has plenty of leverage. They certainly won't give up a first-round pick for Romo and I doubt even a second-rounder. After investing a first in Lynch year, they won't double down on quarterback with high picks in consecutive seasons.
There are, of course, lots of other ways this could go. Dallas might accept a later pick rather than lose Romo for nothing, or they may look at trading for a current Broncos player at a position of need. Then again, Denver may just wait things out assuming Romo will get released and sign him as a free agent.
Perhaps all of this is for naught and Romo isn't even on Denver's radar. However, at this early stage it's the most that any one team has been talking about or seemingly connected to Tony. These few ripples are only the beginning, though, of a flood of speculation.
Amari Cooper Wins 2nd NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award of 2018
For the second time in just three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Cooper scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, to lead the Cowboys to victory last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 10 catches for 217 yards, which led all NFL receivers last week.
After his record-setting performance during week 14, @AmariCooper9 is the FIRST #DallasCowboys to win NFC Player of the Week twice in a season! → https://t.co/kvBDIeOgBd #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote
As the official website stated, Cooper is the first Cowboy to win the award twice in the same year. He's also the first Cowboy to be named Offensive Player of the Week since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.
Before this year, Elliott was the only Dallas player to win the Offensive award in three seasons. Cooper has now done it twice in three weeks.
Since being traded to the Cowboys, Amari Cooper has amassed 40 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns.
His wasted time in Oakland may keep Cooper out of the Pro Bowl this year, but he's already become a fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. Congratulations to Amari for another well-deserved award!
David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?
Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle David Irving, once a key member of the team's defense, will not make his return after all against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. For the second straight week, Irving was reportedly trending towards suiting up before being ruled out. The Cowboys haven't missed his unique presence for 13 weeks (playing against the Jaguars and Redskins), including through an ongoing four game win streak that began with a win against these Eagles on the road.
In that road win, veteran Tyrone Crawford recorded a sack and three tackles, while Antwaun Woods added two for a Dallas defense that held Philadelphia to 23 first downs and 71 rushing yards. The Eagles managed to cross the Cowboys' 30-yard line just four times.
There are many scenarios in which the Cowboys could have cut ties with Irving for not being worth the off-field trouble he's caused - beginning the season with a four game suspension. The absolute best case scenario is what they've realized amidst this turnaround, with other defensive linemen taking advantage of the opportunity left behind by Irving.
While it can still be true that Irving would make more splash plays than the likes of Crawford, Woods, Maliek Collins, and Caraun Reid, this defensive tackle group deserves praise for their ability to step in. Pass rush ability is one thing teams can't have enough of, and the Cowboys are missing some with Irving, finding ways to win thanks to the other traits these defenders bring to the table.
Cowboys Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard may effectively be the team's defensive coordinator with an emphasis on the back seven, but DC Rod Marinelli's impact is still felt - particularly up front. Regardless of where they're lined up and deployed, the Cowboys front four is expected to be disruptive on every snap, something this scrappy unit excels at.
Prepared once again to play on the edge this season, Crawford is thriving at his original position of 3T-DT. Crawford has two sacks, nine total tackles, and three other hits on the quarterback over the past four weeks. Leading by example with a relentless spirit on every play, Crawford has meant just as much to the Cowboys defensive ends as Irving could.
In a short period of time, the Cowboys have gone from building up Irving thanks to his transcendent ability to make those around him better to simply -- and importantly -- being better across the defense.
Led by DeMarcus Lawrence as their premier rusher, the Cowboys defensive line is a lot for opposing offenses to contain. The "Hot Boyz" work up front has allowed Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to play fast and make plays all over the field.
Maliek Collins, battling back from his second broken foot in three years, is proving again he's a patented Marinelli guy. Collins' play speaks for itself when considering if the Nebraska product is best as a 3T or 1T tackle. Wherever he's asked to play, Collins creates penetration with an explosive first step and can finish at the quarterback with an array of power rush moves.
At 7-5 and fighting for their playoff lives, the Cowboys are done making excuses on the 2018 season. Their strides on defense speak for themselves, and with a group that keeps Dallas in every game they'll play, the door remains open for David Irving to earn snaps again when ready.
The Cowboys don't know any better than their play without Irving right now, and as winners of four straight, it's worth questioning if we'll see Irving over the last three weeks of the regular season.
QB Dak Prescott Named Cowboys’ Nominee For Walter Payton Man Of The Year Award
As the quarterback of America's Team, Dak Prescott is faced with a level of criticism each week that few athletes have to deal with. He is constantly questioned for his play, and even when things are going well, Prescott must answer his critics. But one area absolutely no one can question Prescott is his leadership, both on and off the field.
Dak Prescott is the perfect role model for children and adults alike. He is constantly doing fantastic work in his communities and making sure he uses his platform for good to his best ability.
This week it was announced Dak Prescott was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, and will be the Cowboys' candidate in the race.
@Dak Prescott has been announced as the #Cowboys nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year - for 'commitment to philanthropy and community impact.' DAL past winners of the NFL-wide honor: Staubach, Aikman, Witten. @1053thefan
Of course, Prescott is well-worthy of the honor, and I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up being both a finalist and the recipient of the award this year. As mentioned by Mike Fisher in the above tweet, three Cowboys have won the award previously; Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and Jason Witten. Each of which is deserving, as is Prescott.
Considering the award is given out for "commitment to philanthropy and community impact," I can't think of many more worthy players around the league than quarterback Dak Prescott. We can see this impact in the locker room and on the field as well, as Prescott was voted a captain in just his sophomore season. The Cowboys clearly respect Prescott, despite some of the flaws in his game, and seem to play hard beside him every week.
Congratulations to Dak Prescott on this nomination.
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