Tony Romo hasn’t played a down for the Dallas Cowboys this season, and Jerry Jones would like to keep it that way. So, even if Prescott were to sit out Dallas’ regular-season finale in Philadelphia, don’t assume that Romo would be next in line for mop-up duty.
“There is a very good reason,” NFL Network analyst Ian Rapoport said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I know we all spend a lot of time rolling our eyes at Jerry Jones – and I am among them, of course, because how could I not be? – but I think Tony Romo will be ready to play if needed. He’s had enough practice time. He knows the offense well enough. I think he’ll probably be a little rusty, but I think once the bell sounds – if Dak gets hurt – he’ll be okay.”
There are, however, legitimately good reasons as to why Romo should not play in Week 17.
“First of all, they’d be on the hook for some injury guarantees next year if he’s injured, but worse is, he’d lose value,” Rapoport said. “Let’s say Romo hurts his back again. Who is going to trade for a 36-year-old who’s had another back issue? Every time he plays, he gets injured. That would basically kill his trade value and it would mean they would have to release him – and I don’t even know if he would get another job. So he doesn’t want to play because that’s a risk.
“As a football player, he doesn’t have to prove anything,” Rapoport continued. “Everyone knows he’s very good – probably the top, most talented, successful free agent on the market this coming year, if he’s even a free agent. There’s no upside to playing him. But if you’re in the second round of the playoffs and Dak gets hurt, then it would be worth it to the team to play him and try to get to the Super Bowl.”
But if Prescott remains healthy and effective, Romo would probably be okay with that, mainly because Romo cannot benefit from playing – unless he were to heroically lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl win.
“Yes, I think that’s exactly right,” Rapoport said. “Let’s say you’re Jay Cutler, Mike Glennon, potentially Tyrod Taylor. Each one of them has a little bit to where a team is going to be taking a risk by signing him. Romo does not have any playing risks. Everyone knows he’s very, very, very good. It’s just a durability risk. So he doesn’t have to play great. People in their minds know he’s great. But if he goes out and gets injured, that’s where it would be a major problem.”