Tony Romo is expected to play at some point in Week 17 when the Dallas Cowboys take on the Philadelphia Eagles with nothing on the line. At 13-2, Dallas has already locked up the NFC East and home-field advantage, so the Cowboys want to avoid watching key starters go down in a meaningless game.
While the Cowboys have the right idea in terms of not playing starters for the entire game, especially after Tyron Smith got injured against Detroit last Monday, they are botching their quarterback situation by putting Romo in the game. Believe it or not, Dallas is better off to play Mark Sanchez, the guy most infamously known for the “butt fumble,” than they are to play Romo.
Without question, Romo is far better than Sanchez. However, no matter what happens to Romo or how well he plays will put the Cowboys in a hole. With Dak Prescott being the obvious quarterback of the future, Romo, who turns 37 in April, is expected to hit the trade block.
If Romo gets injured again in this game, his trade value will plummet, as any potential trade partner will see Romo as a guy who’s body has called it quits on him. Injuries are the primary concern for Romo, so if he suffers one in his only regular season appearance, that’s a red flag for other teams interested in his services.
Romo could also hurt his trade value with a poor outing against the Eagles, as he may be a little “rusty” to say the least. If Romo goes out against Philly and completes less than half of his passes, throws multiple interceptions, is unable to score touchdowns, and posts a God-awful quarterback rating, most clubs may not view him as a valuable asset to their team and they won’t be willing to give up as much – if anything – for him.
Finally, let’s assume Romo hasn’t missed a beat and he goes out and humiliates the Eagles by completing 75 percent of his passes for 300 yards, four touchdowns, and posts a quarterback rating of 100 or more. Now the Cowboys have a quarterback controversy on their hands – again. Remember when Dallas lost to the Giants in Week 14 to drop to 11-2? People were already calling for Romo to take over the reins and it was only Prescott’s second loss of his career.
The Cowboys want to play whoever gives them the best shot at winning Super Bowl LI – just like every other playoff-bound team. But Dallas needs to realize they need to win or lose with Prescott at the helm. If he starts to falter in the playoffs, putting Romo in will only make the quarterback situation cloudy and uncomfortable.
Romo is one of the greatest players to ever wear a star on his helmet, but his time in Dallas is up – and he even admitted it in a press conference earlier this season, saying the Cowboys were “Dak’s team.” No matter what happens on Sunday, the Cowboys will botch everything if Romo plays a snap this season, and decisions like this are part of the reason the Cowboys haven’t been to the Super Bowl in over two decades. Jerry Jones is at fault for most of – if not all of – this mess, as he gets too personally attached to players and ends up hurting his franchise in the process.
Potential trade partners for Romo already have plenty of tape on him and are well aware what he is fully capable of. They don’t need to see him play this season to change that. His career statistics (34,154 passing yards, 247 touchdowns, and 97.1 quarterback rating) and previous game film will already have some teams dying to add them to their roster this upcoming offseason.
Romo is a Cowboys legend, but he should never take a snap for them again in his career. As weird as this sentence is to type, if Dallas wants to rest Dak for the postseason, they need to play Sanchez over Romo. It’s for the best interest of the team later on down the road, as Prescott won’t benefit from looking over his shoulder in a high-pressure situation in the postseason.