For much of the 2016 season, there’s been a popular narrative among Tony Romo backers. It goes something like this: “Wow, look at well the Cowboys are doing with Dak Prescott! Just imagine how good they’ll be with Tony Romo!”
Well, maybe. But maybe not.
With all due respect to Romo, it’s been a long time since he’s led the Cowboys to seven straight wins. And by “a long time,” we mean “never.”
Isn’t putting Romo back in the lineup now a no-win situation for the 36-year-old?
“I think it is, and personally, I would caution their management to really do a good job of taking the pulse of their team,” NFL on FOX analyst Charles Davis said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “There’s an old adage in football – and it is old and gray and wrinkly and the whole deal – but let me tell you something: it holds true. The team actually does pick the quarterback if you just listen to them. I don’t mean call them in and take a straw poll. I’m talking about how do they respond to him? How does the offense move the ball? How do things happen?”
Davis reminded listeners that Casey Weldon started ahead of Brad Johnson at Florida State. Weldon didn’t have much of a pro career; Johnson won a Super Bowl.
At Florida State, however, that didn’t matter.
“For some reason, that team grasped on to Casey Weldon, not Brad Johnson,” Davis said. “It wasn’t just talent. I think this team has grasped on to Dak Prescott. There’s no disrespect to Tony Romo, but if I were management, I’d do what I think they’re doing right now, which is pumping the brakes on Tony Romo’s recovery. Not putting out the same kind of missives as they were before about how far along he was in his recovery. I think they’re being very smart about it and very wise. Give Tony all the time he needs. Let Dak play. I would only bring Tony Romo back to play if Dak Prescott went through about a two- or three-game deal where things just weren’t right. I believe this team has now said that Dak Prescott has earned the right to get the same sort of leash that an established NFL quarterback would get – meaning, work through bumps, work through things. Here’s the best part: They can work through bumps and things there very easily because they can turn and hand the ball to Zeke Elliott.”
Elliott leads the league with 891 rushing yards and is the only tailback in football averaging more than 93 rushing yards per game. He’s averaging 111.4.
“I think Tony’s handled it the best he can,” Davis said, “but I think the locker room is having a touch time only for this reason: There’s enormous respect for Tony, but if push comes to shove, this is Dak’s team right now. This is Dak’s locker room right now. No disrespect to Tony at all. And in fact, it’ll be awkward because it’ll be like, ‘Tony, we love you, but….’ And that’s where I think the Cowboys are right now.”