Tony Romo has not gotten the credit he’s deserved over the years, primarily because he’s been the poster boy for a dysfunctional franchise. Had Romo been the face of the Patriots or Steelers, the Broncos or Packers, he’d be seen much differently. The coaching, the stability, the balance of those organizations would’ve surrounded him with a better chance to win, and Romo would’ve been playing in much bigger games than he has over his career.
Not that Romo has been pristine when he’s had those opportunities (he’s won just two playoff games in his career and will be remembered for a handful of Week 17 win-and-in losses). But as I wrote in August, Romo largely gets a raw deal both nationally and in Texas. His worst transgression is not being Roger Staubach or Troy Aikman. His poor timing means he’s been stuck with Jerry Jones trying to build his supporting cast instead of Tom Landry or Jimmy Johnson. He’s had to watch the weekly circus that Jerruh has brought into the locker room. He’s suffered from a reactionary, attention-starving owner parading in big names, baggage-laden gambles, busted high-picks, and a daily soundbite circus.
But now is not the time to bow to nostalgia or give a make-good to Romo. It’s Dak’s time, it’s Dak’s team. Prescott has played so well, had such composure, handled everything with such maturity, it would be criminal to take him out of the lineup. The Cowboys have rattled off 7 straight wins, and Dak has alternated between efficient and excellent. That’s all you can ask for in today’s NFL unless it’s Tom Brady. Prescott has outplayed Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger in consistency this season. He has perfectly adapted his style to the Cowboys offense. He’s not trying to be the hero, but can be when needed.
The Cowboys are starting to get the hint as well. In the old days (like last season) Romo would’ve suited up and likely starting this weekend. He practiced this week, but Dallas is unlikely to activate him against the Steelers. It’s smart. Give Dak another chance against a playoff-worthy foe to step up or show his inexperience. But until he crashes the car, why not let him keep driving it without someone over his shoulder on the sideline?
Dallas has the perfect situation for Dak right now, and while a dominant offensive line and strong running game could help Romo too, it’s not worth tinkering with. In Vegas, after winning 7 straight hands you don’t just get up to go eat because you’re hungry. You don’t take a 90-minute break because you want some fresh air. You keep taking those winnings and stashing them away because you know how rare that hot streak is. The Cowboys can’t get up from the table. The going is just too good right now.
D.A. hosts 6-10pm ET on the CBS Sports Radio Network. He has hosted The D.A. Show (aka “The Mothership”) in Boston, Miami, Kansas City and Ft. Myers, FL. You can often catch him on the NFL Network’s series “Top 10.” D.A. graduated from Syracuse University in ’01, and began looking for ways to make a sports radio show into a quirky 1970’s sci-fi television series. Follow D.A. on Twitter and check out the show’s Facebook page. D.A. lives in NYC, and is a native of Warwick, NY.