Former Cowboy questions Tony Romo’s impact on this season
A former Dallas Cowboys player believes this 3-8 team wouldn’t have fared much better even with starting quarterback Tony Romo under center this season.
When a team like the Dallas Cowboys goes 3-8 during a season which began with Super Bowl aspirations, it can have both the team and fans struggling to come up with answers to explain what happened. This year, the absence of starting quarterback Tony Romo is seen by many as the main culprit behind this season’s terrible performance by the Cowboys.
But one former Cowboy great, and Hall of Fame quarterback, isn’t so quick to place the blame for this season’s poor performance on the shoulders of one man. Former Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman recently hinted at the fact that this team likely wouldn’t have fared much better even with their veteran gunslinger under center.
"“It’s been debated all season long as to what impact Tony [Romo] would have had on this team or where would this team be if Tony had been healthy all season long. I don’t know,” Aikman replied during a radio interview with KTCK-AM The Ticket when asked about the Cowboys Thanksgiving loss. “I think maybe that Thanksgiving game kind of gave everyone a realistic outlook on that question. Maybe they would have won a few more games, and I believe they would have. But how much different would it be? What we’ve seen in the last two months of the season is that this team has more issues than who was their backup quarterback or who was their starting quarterback. There’s a lot to address once the season comes to a conclusion.”"
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Aikman’s argument here is we can’t look at Romo’s absence this season as a “Get out of jail free card” for the rest of the team, coaches and front office. The 35-year old quarterback doesn’t rush the passer. He doesn’t drop interceptions. Romo doesn’t fail to get separation from defenders. His poor pass blocking skills don’t get his quarterback injured. Romo doesn’t make a number of missed tackles or fail to come up with turnovers. Bottom line: Placing the onus of the blame on one man absence is a mistake.
The Cowboys have more problems than just missing their starting quarterback. So, why the success of a 12-4 season in 2014? It appears the Cowboys running game masked more problems than most realized. With former running back DeMarco Murray pounding out 1,847 rushing yards behind far better offensive line play, Dallas’ offense carried this team to victories last season. And on Murray’s back, both Romo and the Cowboys defense benefited.
But Murray’s free agency exodus to the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason tipped the scales towards Dallas’ demise in 2015. And don’t underestimate the impact the exit of former Cowboys wide recevier Dwayne Harris had on the Cowboys special teams unit. Dallas has yet to find his replacement as well.
Next: Five reasons the Dallas Cowboys can finish 5-0
The Cowboys offseason decisions sealed the fate of America’s Team this year long before the players ever took the field. They deserve as much blame as anyone else. And to Aikman’s point, there are certainly more problems on this team than just a missing quarterback.