Head coach, Jason Garrett, announced that Tony Romo has had back surgery and will be placed on injured reserve. This mean Romo’s season is over. When a starting quarterback is put on injured reserve, usually that means the season is over for that team. The Cowboys are put in a unique situation though. There is still hope for the Cowboys making the playoffs.
Romo has had a good season, and got the Cowboys to their position now. Win and they are in. It would have been ideal to have already clinched a spot, but we weren’t so fortunate. If Romo had gotten hurt any earlier, the odds would not look as favourable as they are now. Right now the Cowboys need to get lucky for just one game. With one lucky win, the Cowboys will be in the playoffs.
Although Romo is out, the Cowboys will still have an acceptable leader in the huddle. With Kyle Orton, the Cowboys have one of the best backup quarterback in the league. Orton can arguably be a starter on some teams still. He has 69 starts under his belt, so he has plenty of experience. There are also plenty of weapons for Orton to work with, such as Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. He won’t take over a game like Romo, but the Cowboys won’t be one dimensional because of a lack of a passing game. The passing attack won’t be as strong, but this could actually be a blessing in disguise.
For weeks, the offensive playcalling has been neglecting the run. The most notable example of this is during the Green Bay game. It’s baffling, because Demarco Murray has been playing phenomenally ever since he came back from injury. Since he came back in week 9, he has averaged 5.9 yards per carry. Despite this impressive stat, Murray has only gotten 15.6 carries a game. With Tony Romo out, Bill Callahan may be forced to use Murray more. By running the ball effectively, the Cowboys can control the clock while moving down the field. This will ultimately benefit the defense as well because it will keep them off the field.
With Romo out, it may seem that the Eagles will wreck the Cowboys. However, there’s still hope. The Cowboys are forced to run the ball more. This is perfect because Demarco Murray has been hot. In addition, Kyle Orton is a proven game manager and will keep the offense from getting one dimensional. If the offense can rally around Murray and the run game, this will benefit the defense as well. If we can keep them off the field for a while, the defense can stay fresh. While it may seem unlikely, staying fresh will give the defense a better chance of stopping the Eagles. As surprising as it seem, the Cowboys may be better off without Romo. Obviously Tony Romo is a better quarterback than Orton, however without him the Cowboys are forced to a game plan that is better suited against the Eagles.