Merry Christmas, Tony Romo! You’re going to be the No. 1 NFL talking point for the final nine days of the regular season! And you haven’t taken a snap this season!
With the Giants losing to the Eagles Thursday night, the Cowboys locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the playoffs, and home field advantage. That means the final two weeks are meaningless for Dallas, which can be a scary concept because they’ll have a bye in the first round of the playoffs, meaning three straight weeks of games that do not matter.
How hard will it be to keep a team motivated for the next three weeks before hosting a game against (probably) the Giants, Falcons, Redskins or Lions?
But back to Romo. Should the Cowboys get him some reps the next two weeks so he’s ready for the playoffs, should rookie QB Dak Prescott fall on his face or suffer an injury? I think the strategy should be to play Prescott and Elliott for the first quarter of each game, and then turn to the Dallas backup: Mark Sanchez.
I’d actually argue that Sanchez is more likely to play than Romo for two reasons:
- Tony Romo hasn’t played since the preseason. When he got on the field against Seattle in August, he was injured. The time he was on the field before that, on Thanksgiving 2015 against Carolina, he was injured. From Romo’s point of view, wouldn’t playing only hurt his offseason trade value, or becoming the starters anywhere in 2017. Let’s say he plays – with backups – and gets injured again? Who is giving big money to him then? Right now, he’s in line for at least $14 million per year.
- Wouldn’t it be disrespectful for the Cowboys to trot out Romo behind a 2nd tier offensive line, with backup skill position players, in a game that means nothing? We’re talking about a guy who is BFFs with the owner, and a beloved Dallas icon. Do we even know if Romo wants to play in such a scenario? Given what I just wrote about his future, my guess would be Romo’s agent talks him out it.