As Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys prepare for yet another inevitable 8-8 season and a crushing final-game-of-the-year loss that causes them to miss out on an NFC East division title, there’s been an awful lot of attention on Tony Romo. Nothing new there, really. Tones Romes is about as divisive a player as we have today in the league. I, for one, love Romo and his game, and all the criticism he takes is waaaaaay over-the-top and unwarranted. Sure, he throws the untimely pick every now-and-again, but continuing to dwell on such things leads to the ignoring of his brilliance.
Last season, Romo ranked 20th in the league in interceptions, throwing only 10. Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, Matthew Stafford and Drew Brees all threw more. Peyton Manning also threw 10. Eli Manning threw a million more than all of them. Romo also threw 31 touchdowns and completed about 64 percent of his throws. He was simply fantastic last season, but the unfortunate back injury he suffered caused him to miss the team’s final game of the season. So, 8-8 yet again for the Dallas Cowboys.
From a fantasy perspective, few passers in recent years have been better than Romo. But I fear that those days may be in the past. Back injuries are no small issue, and a 34-year-old quarterback coming off of major back surgery doesn’t have me feeling particularly optimistic about his chances of having another monster season in 2014.
Know what else is weird as hell? Romo said at the beginning of camp that he was “100%” after his surgery. Today is Wednesday, August 6th. The last time Romo practiced was on Sunday, August 3rd. The Cowboys have a preseason game tomorrow here in San Diego, and Romo will not be playing. This basically means that Romo will have gotten nearly a full week off. In training camp. Know who takes weeks off in training camp? Guys that aren’t 100% healthy. I get that there’s no reason to rush into things and risk Romo getting hurt during an effing practice, but you’re going to tell me that there isn’t something fishy here?
In an interview last week on 1310 The Ticket, Romo himself seemed fairly unconfident that his back will ever be the same. So we’re supposed to believe that he’s going to come in this season, play a full 16 games and be phenomenal with a bad back? I don’t see it at all. He may start the season out fine, but it seems inevitable that something is going to go wrong here. Plus, it’s the Dallas Cowboys, so of course something will go wrong. That’s the way it works, ya know.
So, what I’m saying here is that you probably don’t want to be going into this season with Tones Romes as your QB1 unless you’ve got a QB2 you’re super confident can come on and produce at a high enough level. There’s way too much risk involved here. Know who his backup is, by the way? Brandon Weeden. So if something does happen to Romo, R.I.P, fantasy values of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.
Obviously, if Romo does wind up being able to play and stay healthy, then there’s no reason to believe both Bryant and Witten won’t have great seasons, yet again. They’re both undoubtedly top-five at their respective positions if they have their guy throwing the ball their way. Thankfully, the corpse of Miles Austin has been freed, which makes Terrance Williams a highly appealing WR2-3 option, too. I’d also imagine the Cowboys will offer a heavy dosage of Cole Beasley, but he’s probably a guy to keep an eye on as a free agent than one you’re wanting to waste a draft pick on.
Regardless of Romo’s health, DeMarco Murray should be in line for another very solid season, as well. Murray obviously has his own health history and concerns, but that’s the case for most RBs, anyway. Dallas has been vocal about their desire to run the ball more this season, but they say that every year and they never do it, so obviously they’re full of shit. Don’t listen to these lying bastards. The Cowboys are never going to turn into some kind of ground-and-pound attack as long as Garrett is coaching the thing. Which is probably smart, since ground-and-pound is a retarded way to run an offense.
Defensively the Cowboys were a dumpster fire last season, and now they’ve lost both DeMarcus Ware (cut) and Sean Lee (annual devastating Sean Lee injury). You probably want nothing to do with this crappy-ass defense, although the special teams do offer upside with Dwayne Harris as the primary returner. They’ve demoted the corpse of Monte Kiffin and promoted Rod Marinelli to defensive coordinator. This probably means nothing. Coaches don’t really help much when you don’t have any freaking players. Dick LeBeau in his prime (do coaches have primes?) couldn’t fix this damn thing. Dallas was solid in forcing turnovers last season thanks to Kiffin often calling the “turnover play” (very effective), but six of those came in the first game courtesy of Eli Manning.
Dan Bailey is a good kicker. That’s the end of this kicker analysis segment.
In summary, if you can get Tony Romo in a semi-late round, then that’s fine. But if you take him super high without a real backup plan, you’re asking for trouble.