The Dallas Cowboys have dug themselves into a dismal hole. It has been presumed that the season will continue to spiral downward and the Cowboys will be drafting in the top 5 spots of the 2011 NFL Draft. With Tony Romo nursing his broken clavicle for the next six to eight weeks, it is unlikely he will return to a team fighting to make the playoffs. One columnist believes Romo should be placed onto the injured reserve (IR) list. But what if the Cowboys are in the hunt?
Just last year the Tennessee Titans started their season with six straight losses. They missed the playoffs, but they had a pulse in the final week of the season.
If Romo is placed on the IR, his season is finished. He would be ineligible to return until the start of 2011. It can be argued that you wouldn’t want to bring Romo back for two meaningless games and risk further injury (especially with our offensive line). But is it so out of the realm of possibility that the defense begins to play inspired football, the running game returns to form (other than a gelatinous blob), and Kitna does a sufficient job, but the lone missing piece to a championship run is an exceptional quarterback?
Wade Phillips could actively decide to bench Romo for the final two weeks if the playoff chances have been extinguished, but Phillips hasn’t been known to make tough decisions that go against public opinion during his tenure with Dallas. I say Romo should play in the final two games. Every year we hear of players returning from injury and without fail it is said, this player hasn’t taken a snap since… the 2 final games will help to keep the figurative rust off Romo and may aid in his continuing development early into next year.
If Romo goes to the IR, there would be an available roster spot which would open up. Maybe the Cowboys could sneak an offensive lineman off of the Colts’s (insert competent team here) practice squad. True, but this does not open an available gameday spot. With Romo out, Jon Kitna becomes the starter, and Stephen McGee assumes the backup quarterback spot. The 3rd quarterback remains open.
Is it worth raising a figurative white flag to get a backup offensive line project?
Finally, it has been argued that the injury to Romo gives us an opportunity to evaluate McGee in live action full speed regular season games. Maybe he will prove to be special. Maybe he will play well and could be traded to another team the way Matt Schaub was traded from the Falcons to the Texans? Or maybe he will look worse than he did in the pre-season since he will be playing against first stringers and not players hoping to make the final roster cut.
The 2010 season has been an epic disappointment. It’s not over yet and it would be a fire-able offense to give up while there is some hope remaining. Let’s not forget the immortal words of Yogi Berra… “We made too many wrong mistakes.” Putting Romo on the IR would be one of them.