Age: 23 (1st Season)
2016 Stats: (6 Games) 1,486 yards, 68.7 Comp%, 10 TD’s (7 Passing, 3 Rushing), 1 INT, 84.1 QBR
Career Record: 5-1 (6 starts)
Why he should start:
The Dak attack has the Cowboys rolling. The rookie has played like at a Pro Bowl level through the first 6 games, making plays with both his arm and his legs, and most importantly, avoiding turnovers. He broke Tom Brady’s record by completing 163 completions without an interception to begin his career, and has just 1 pick in 182 attempts. He and fellow rookie of the year candidate Ezekiel Elliot have given the Cowboys the best rushing attack in the NFL. He has done all of this without arguably the best NFL talent on the Cowboys, wide receiver Dez Bryant, who before suffering a knee injury prior to week 4 had only been targeted 23 times. He has made Cole Beasley look like a Pro Bowl slot receiver. As the controversy between him and Romo has grown, he has said on multiple occasions, “This is Tony’s team,” and I can’t knock him for saying the right thing. He has become one of the most likable quarterbacks in football, and considering he came into training camp as a 3rd rounder who got a DUI right before the draft, that’s one hell of a turn around.
Why he shouldn’t start:
This is Tony Romo’s team, and Dak has even admitted that. He doesn’t have late season, big game experience that Romo has. How will he perform when their down? How will he do in a must win situation? Romo has the resume, Dak does not.
Age: 36 (14th Season)
2014 Stats: (15 games) 3,705 yards, 69.9 Comp%, 34 TD’s, 9 INT’s, 81.8 QBR
2015 Stats: (4 games) 884 yards, 68.6 Comp%, 5 TD’s, 7 INT’s, 57.8 QBR
Career Record: 78-49 (127 starts)
Why he should start:
This has been Tony’s team for years. He’s taken the Cowboys to the playoffs 4 times, he’s won more than 61% of his starts, he’s a 4-time Pro Bowler, and has 25 career 4th quarter comebacks. The guy is a winner. No, the Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl with him, but he’s not the reason for that. When Romo is healthy, he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Him and a healthy Dez Bryant are one of the deadliest QB/WR combos in the league, and if you look at his 2014 season, when now Tennessee Titan running back DeMarco Murray had a career year for the Cowboys, Romo’s numbers were All-Pro level and he lead Dallas to a 12-4 record and a playoff win. While DeMarco is gone, rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot, the NFL’s leading rusher at the moment, has been enjoying a season that looks like it will end up being even better than Murray’s 2014 year. Having Elliot in the backfield will take open up the vertical passing game for Dallas and most importantly, will limit Romo’s drop backs and thus limit the number of hits he will take. Romo’s veteran leadership and big game experience will be huge for the Cowboys as they make a push for the playoffs.
Why he shouldn’t start:
The issue with Romo that he has had a ton of injuries over his career. In 2008 he suffered a broken right pinkie and missed 3 games. In 2010, it was a broken left collarbone which kept him out of 10 games. In 2013 he suffered a ruptured disk in a week 17 win over the Redskins and missed the following playoff game, a 24-22 loss to the Eagles. In 2015 he broke his left collarbone again after being sacked. He returned later that year and broke it again, missing the rest of the season. And now, he is returning from a compression fracture in his back he suffered against the Seahawks in the preseason this year. Some may call him unlucky, and some may call him old and injury prone. The Cowboys may not be able to trust Romo’s ability to stay on the field.
And the Starter Should Be…
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Cowboys should stick with Dak Prescott. This is the best course of action for the for multiple reasons.
- They are winning
- They are on pace to win 13-14 games, and Dez will be healthy soon, so they will only get better. Why mess with that?
- It gives Romo more time to heal
- If they continue to play Dak, Tony Romo won’t be taking hit while he is the backup. Now if Dak gets hurt or starts to struggle, they have an even healthier Romo ready to step in.
- History may be repeating itself
- Long ago, Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe went down, and a young, 6th round pick named Tom Brady stepped in. When Bledsoe was ready to comeback, Brady remained the starter, and the rest is history. The Patriots have been pretty good since then, so Dallas may want to take notes.
There you go Jerry Jones, that’s my take. I can’t guarantee that your Cowboys will keep winning with either of these guys under center, but I can, with the utmost certainty, guarantee that a lot of other teams wish they had your problem right now, which great quarterback do we start?