In the 24-hours after the season ending loss to the Washington Redskins, there was a ton of negative reactions from Dallas Cowboys fans and writers about the play of Tony Romo. Almost everything written and said centered around two things, Romo’s inability to play his best in big situations and how the Cowboys should move on from Romo.
Both points hold validity but unless any of us have the money to buy the Cowboys and hire a new head coach, Romo isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Jason Garrett told everyone that in his season ending press conference.
“We have great belief of Tony Romo as our quarterback, Tony has won a lot of big games for us, too, to get us to the point where we can play for the division in Week 17 in consecutive years. We all know that we want to take the next step and Tony is going to be a big part of that going forward. I think you have to understand the whole body of work. I think you have to understand that winning is how we get evaluated. He’s done a lot of great things for this franchise. We’re excited about him being our quarterback.”
Reading that quote the only conclusion is that Tony Romo will once again be the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, and probably beyond. Actually, they have no choice but to show faith in Romo and move forward with him. As much as it pains Cowboys fans to read this, Tony Romo isn’t going anywhere and there are a few reasons why.
First off, the Cowboys owe him a ton of money for this upcoming year, $16.8 million to be exact. That is a ton of money for a cash strapped team who still needs significant improvement. The likely plan for the Cowboys is to re-sign Romo, which will free up a good chunk of money so they can re-sign players like Anthony Spencer, as well be able to sign other players when free agency opens.
Another reason the Cowboys can’t move on from Romo is because they understand that good quarterbacks aren’t easy to find. They aren’t blind to the fact that finding franchise quarterbacks don’t grow on trees, just look at the situations team’s like the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders find themselves in. Without a good quarterback, and let’s not kid ourselves, Romo is a good quarterback, you have no chance. Romo may fold in some big situations but without him, the Cowboys wouldn’t be in those positions in the first place.
However, probably the biggest reason the Cowboys continue to show faith in Tony Romo is because they are deathly afraid of completely starting over. The process of finding a new quarterback usually means starting over and owner Jerry Jones does not have the patience for that. The Cowboys mediocre play in the Romo era has frustrated Jones but completing starting over would take too much time and it isn’t likely that Jones would make such a bold move.
As usual with Romo, the answer is never easy. It’s true that without him, the Cowboys probably go 4-12 this season and with him they challenged for a playoff spot but does that mean he’s the answer for the team? I believe Dallas should let the 2013 season play out with Romo at quarterback but move on from him after that. I would not extend Romo and draft his hopeful successor in April. Mediocrity can no longer be accepted and the constant backing of Romo from the Cowboys organization is delaying the inevitable, which is a complete remaking of this roster in three or four years.
Why not start as soon as possible and turn the team over to the younger stars? Eventually the Cowboys are going to have to pay Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Dez Bryant, Morris Claiborne, Tyron Smith and others so why not start clearing the room for the future now? You can’t be scared to make changes and by continuing down the Romo path seems like insanity to me. Then again, I don’t have any say in it.
The NFL is a tough business and making hard decisions is part owning a team. The Cowboys have linked themselves to Tony Romo and no matter what any of us think about that decision, it’s a fact we should all get used to.
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