If football is a meritocracy, Tony Romo should start over Dak Prescott

Aug 19, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and quarterback Tony Romo (9) talk during the pregame warmups against the Miami Dolphins at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 19, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and quarterback Tony Romo (9) talk during the pregame warmups against the Miami Dolphins at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

If football truly is a meritocracy, then Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo should get the starting nod over rookie Dak Prescott.

Cowboy Nation, wasn’t it just a beautiful thing to see quarterback Tony Romo‘s #9 back on the field throwing lasers? Unfortunately, it occurred on Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones definitely dropped the ball on that one.

Last week against the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football, 92,885 people flooded AT&T stadium aka Jerry’s World aka The House That Romo Built. They came to the regular season home finale to witness technical mastery and a chance to witness “the excellence of Tony Romo”.

Even during quarterback Dak Prescott‘s best performance, the House That Romo Built filled with chants of “We want Romo” and “Tony, Tony, Tony”. Jerry Jones is the type of owner that believes in putting on a show and giving people what they want.

Unfortunately, the stadium’s roof was closed and Jones feared that it would’ve been blown off had Romo taken the field. Perhaps the cheers would’ve damaged Prescott’s confidence or mental edge.

Everything Jones says is evaluated and analyzed but I accept his words with skepticism. There have been too many moments where his logic is contradictory. Before the regular season finale, he stated that the Cowboys won’t rest their starters. Yet, the team didn’t start rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Earlier that week after the Cowboys reached a 13 – 2 record, Jones said, “With him (Prescott) being a rookie, we really need all these reps he can get, including any reps we get this week and next week, because we want him to be as educated and as well-prepared and have as much experience as he can when we get in the playoffs.”

Has anybody wondered why that doesn’t apply to the rookie running back? We can accept that they didn’t want to risk injury to the player most responsible for our 13 wins. Turning back to our other rookie – How much did it help Prescott to have 15 plays in two drives? Did that really prepare him for the playoffs?

Prescott went 4 of 8 passing for 37 yards in two drives. His first drive was 6 plays for 9 yards. The best he could manage was getting the Cowboys in position for a 49 yard field goal by kicker Dan Bailey.

Against the same defense, Romo entered the field and covered 81 yards in 6 plays. If receiver Terrance Williams hadn’t quit on his route, it would’ve been 1 play, 81 yards – Touchdown. Being open has a different meaning when seen through the eyes of Romo with his quick release and pinpoint accuracy.

It’s almost a shame that Romo made it look so easy. Just imagine how he would look if he wasn’t so rusty and the team hadn’t quit on him? I wish I could write things that could add to #True9 stories. Romo once threw 5 interceptions and defeated the Buffalo Bills – #True9. Romo beat the San Francisco 49’ers with a broken rib and a punctured lung – #True9.

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Romo hit a spin move on J.J. Watt and dropped a 43 yard bomb to Williams for a touchdown – #True9. Romo returned from injury and threw his first pass against the Miami Dolphins to running back Darren McFadden left handed – #True9. Romo returned against the Philadelphia Eagles, going 3 of 4 for 81 yards and a touchdown while blindfolded – #True9.

A great quarterback once said, “Football is a meritocracy. You aren’t handed anything. You earn everything, every single day.” Apparently, it isn’t because Prescott was handed the starting job because of a winning streak. Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett have been shielding Dak from competition. Not against other teams, but from the superior, experienced, healthy veteran QB – #9.

Plenty will attempt to discount the performance, but this was Prescott’s American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, The Voice, Next Top Model season finale moment. Knowing Romo was going to perform next, Prescott should’ve put on a show and eliminated all doubt.

His goal should’ve been completing 63 of 50 pass attempts for 25 touchdowns on 2 drives with 819 yards. Instead, we got 2 drives – 3 points and that won’t be sufficient. It should earn you the backup quarterback spot.

If you glanced towards the Atlanta Falcons, you would’ve noticed that on their first 5 drives, quarterback Matt Ryan led his team to 5 touchdowns on drives of 68 yards, 75 yards, 75 yards, 76 yards and 75 yards. If Seattle, the #3 seed, defeats the #6 seeded Lions, we’ll face the Green Bay Packers that have won 6 straight or the New York Giants that have beaten us twice. The path to #6 runs through Dallas, but it isn’t smooth.

What happens if we’re losing 14 – 3 or 21 – 3 and the crowd starts chanting “We want Romo”? I hope we get what we want and he’ll be named as the starting Super Bowl quarterback. #Predictions – Go big or go home, right?





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