The Dallas Cowboys are in a weird situation entering a Week 17 winner-take-all NFC East showdown against the Philadelphia Eagles. It seemed to be just another typical season finale for America’s Team until it was announced Tony Romo will miss the game due to a herniated disc in his back. But now the plot has thickened with reports that Dez Bryant also has a back injury but plans to through it during the Sunday Night Football game. Put simply, that’s not a good idea.
The ignorant football fan will argue the opposite, saying the Cowboys have a better chance to win the game without Romo. Such faith in Kyle Orton would be admirable if it weren’t for the sheer stupidity of such belief. Dallas may very well win the game, but then what? Bryant will be risking his health for a chance to lose a home playoff game the following week to the likes of the San Francisco 49ers or New Orleans Saints.
You see, even if the Cowboys manage to beat the Eagles on Sunday night through a monster game from Bryant, they don’t stand a chance to win a single playoff game, much less make a postseason run with Orton at the helm. And don’t even mention Jon Kitna — the likable 41-year-old former Cowboys quarterback who signed with the team as Orton’s emergency backup for this weekend’s game; he’s not going to pull a Brett Favre and lead a Dallas team depleted by defensive injuries deep into the playoffs. Such belief is utterly ridiculous, yet it’s common in the DFW area.
Bryant needs to sit this game out and ensure that he will be completely healthy for the 2014 season. He has a history of injuries and it doesn’t matter if he plays in this game because the Cowboys have no shot at winning the Super Bowl without Romo, even if their defensive stars were all healthy.
Everyone tends to forget that the quarterback isn’t the only player on the team. Even if the Cowboys score 40 points, it doesn’t matter if the Eagles (or 49ers, Saints, etc.) score 50. Statistically, Dallas has one of the worst defenses in NFL history this season. Does that sound like a team ready to make a Super Bowl run without its franchise quarterback? Didn’t think so. But with the Cowboys, risking Bryant’s health in what is now a meaningless game in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t really surprising.