One of the biggest stories this season has been the quarterback controversy in Big D as the Cowboys have a big decision to make in the coming weeks over the most important position on the field. Should they bench Dak Prescott and play veteran Tony Romo, or should they keep Dak Prescott in the lineup and keep Romo as the backup? There are too many ways to look at this issue, and we will try to tackle some of the them as we look to come up with a decision.
There really does not seem to be a consensus pick among fans here with this “controversy.” Many people are on Dak’s side, many on Tony’s, and many are in the middle and don’t care who starts. First and foremost this is a great problem to have. Despite what anyone says, YOU CANNOT WIN GAMES WITHOUT A GOOD QUARTERBACK. You need a solid signal caller behind the line who can dictate the game and lead the offense down the field. Case in point the Cowboys of 2015, Romo went down and the Cowboys finished 4-12 on the season. Many quarterbacks came and went last season for the Cowboys and none could lead this talented team to victory because honestly they simply did not have IT. Romo has IT and Prescott is looking like he has IT as well.
So let’s get down to business, should the Cowboys start Romo or Prescott? Well the answer is not as simple as you might think which is why we must dig a little deeper to figure this out. I believe we need to look at three main categories in order to make this decision; statistics, age/durability, and experience. Let’s go to the statistics to see if there is any separation.
In his last six regular season games as a starter for the Cowboys dating back to 2014, Tony Romo has a record of 6-1. Romo has thrown for 1,666 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions.
In his first six regular season games as a starter for the Cowboys in 2016, Dak Prescott has a record of 6-1. Prescott has thrown for 1,773 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.
Both Quarterbacks have posted solid numbers in their last seven games. Romo had an expanded offense at his disposal, along with key weapons like Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, and both quarterbacks had the help of solid running games behind Murray and Elliott respectively. If you were going just off of these numbers you could argue either way that one or the other should start. But if I am going to give the edge to one of them, it would definitely have to be Prescott. Why? Well he is a rookie, and he has only turned the ball over for an interception twice, compared to Romo’s eight, and he hasn’t exactly done it against easy competition. Prescott just went into Green Bay and took a win away from Rodgers and the Packers in week 6. Again this could go either way, but Prescott wins this one even with Romo’s stellar career passer rating.
Statistics Winner: PRESCOTT
Age and Durability
This one is pretty obvious as Prescott is only 23 and has little to no injury history throughout his career, while Romo is 36 and has a history of injury throughout his career. Romo has had a serious injury in the last two seasons, and has looked to be made of glass as of late, you know its bad when every time this dude is touched you cringe and wait to see what injury has happened now. We still don’t know enough about Prescott and his career since it is so young, so its hard to make a judgement based on durability and age. BUT, Prescott is almost playing to the level of Romo this early, and is playing with what seems to be the same level of confidence. As a fan, I don’t feel scared every week when Prescott takes the field, I am as confident if not MORE confident in what he can do versus what Romo can do when healthy.
Age Durability Winner: PRESCOTT
Now we made a point in the last category to talk about the age of ROmo and his durability, but this guy has played in the NFL on the biggest stage for over 10 years. He has quarterbacked the most popular football team in the world and done it pretty well. Romo has taken the Cowboys to the playoffs on four different occasions posting a 2-4 record in the playoffs on his career. If there wasn’t a bogus rule against receiving the football (citing the Bryant CATCH in Green Bay in 2014) that record might be better and he might have won a Super Bowl. Key word is MIGHT. On the other hand, Prescott has zero playoff experience, and has only six games under his belt. He is virtually unproved as a professional and will have to continually perform to make this even an argument. This category is probably the most important of the three that I am discussing. Because experience trumps statistics, and age in the NFL as long as you are successful. Tony Romo has been pretty successful in his career. And this brings me to my next point, is any experience the best experience? In twelve seasons as the starter, Romo has taken the Cowboys to the Playoffs four times, and it’s not like he was playing with scrubs, he had some real talent on the roster through those ten years. I had hated on Tony Romo all throughout his career because of his inability to get wins for the Cowboys in the playoffs, now often his statistics showed that he played well, but there is one statistic that matters in the playoffs and that is WINS. You pretty much have to give Romo this category out of default because he has played for so long.
Experience Winner: ROMO
In conclusion, while Tony Romo is a great statistical quarterback and normally I feel pretty confident when he is behind center, I do not believe he is the guy to win us a championship. Tony Romo has a disappointing 2 playoff wins in ten years. Here’s my point, besides putting up big numbers, what has Tony Romo done for the Dallas Cowboys? Two wins? Thanks Tony, those were two great weeks in the past ten years that I got to look forward to. Now is Tony the best man to lead this very talented team going forward? Maybe. Is it worth the risk to start him at this point when the team seems to be gelling so well together? No. Dak Prescott is young, talented, confident, and winning games. He is doing what Romo could do at a very efficient rate, and he is not turning the ball over. Prescott is the man going forward because if Romo plays, there is a high risk of injury again, and he might not gel as well with the current way the team is playing. If you are going to argue with me that Romo is a great passer and should start no matter what, I will just say the number 2 and that’s what defines Romo’s career to me. Dak could tie Romo’s CAREER playoff win mark this season if we make it that far, and with the way things are going that looks like a real possibility. This is not a quarterback controversy, it’s an easy decision for the FUTURE of the franchise as well as in the current moment. These Cowboys are just as good with either quarterback behind center, and that’s why the nod should go to the younger, sturdier, and confident Dak Prescott.
The good news is that no matter what decision the Cowboys make, they should be in a pretty good spot, we have our guy of the future and it’s just a matter of when he takes over for good.