The burning inquiry on everyone’s mind revolves around Tony Romo and his potential start at quarterback in London this Sunday, where the Dallas Cowboys face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It’s a pivotal moment for the Cowboys as they enter a crucial phase of their season.
If you were to react instinctively, your answer might be a resounding “NO!”—especially considering the Cowboys are set to clash with one of the NFL’s weakest teams.
Dealing with back injuries is undeniably agonizing, which leads one to contemplate whether it’s wiser to opt for backup quarterback Brandon Weeden and allow Tony Romo an additional week of recuperation.
In this discussion, we won’t be attempting to assume the role of medical experts. Instead, we must acknowledge that in my extensive NFL experience, every player (and indeed every individual) possesses distinct thresholds for pain tolerance, and every injury sustained in the NFL is distinct.
Playing the part of a makeshift physician from an external perspective can be just as imprudent as disregarding medical advice from within the team.
Tony Romo represents a substantial long-term investment for the Cowboys, and, as always, there’s a missing piece of the puzzle.
What may appear rash from an external standpoint often possesses more nuance when we delve into the finer details.
If the Cowboys’ team physicians have concluded that Romo isn’t exposing himself to a significant risk of further damage, and the issue primarily pertains to his ability to endure pain, the situation may not be a risk at all.
Now, moving away from the medical aspect and assuming Romo proceeds with a well-informed medical green light, let’s ponder an alternative perspective. What if I were to propose that underestimating the Jaguars’ abilities is a legitimate football risk?
Choosing to go with Brandon Weeden might inadvertently provide the Jacksonville Jaguars with a golden opportunity to secure a momentous victory against a Cowboys squad that carries significant implications for both divisional standings and playoff seeding.
Upon scrutinizing the game footage and analyzing how the Cardinals responded to the Weeden substitution, it becomes evident that with Brandon Weeden steering the ship, no NFL defense seems inclined to offer the Dallas Cowboys’ offense an advantageous opportunity to run the football.
This is a substantial matter because, as we’ve consistently emphasized here at FBF throughout the season, no NFL team leverages its running game more effectively to generate offensive opportunities than the Cowboys.
When Brandon Weeden steps in as your quarterback, the aerial threat takes a noticeable dip, prompting opposing defenses to challenge him to win with his passing game.
In the previous week, Weeden, leading the Dallas offense, struggled to accomplish this against the formidable Arizona Cardinals defense, which was staunchly committed to halting the run.
Weeden’s throws were often off the mark, leading to two costly interceptions. In the absence of Tony Romo as the signal-caller, the Cowboys’ offense found itself predominantly one-dimensional.
In the NFL, when an offense becomes one-dimensional, the opponent’s defensive prowess takes precedence, regardless of whether you’re facing the Jacksonville Jaguars or the sturdy Arizona Cardinals defense.
This invariably results in challenges when it comes to advancing the football and putting points on the board. And in the NFL, winning often hinges on your ability to score.
However, with Tony Romo back in the lineup, even if he’s not operating at full capacity, opposing defenses are forced to acknowledge the potential threat he poses through the air.
This, in turn, compels defenses to loosen up, creating more opportunities for ground attacks.
Just by having Romo in the offensive backfield, opposing teams must respect both the passing and rushing dimensions of the Cowboys’ offense, significantly enhancing their prospects for offensive productivity.
The NFC East Division is currently a tightly contested race, with the Philadelphia Eagles holding the lead at 6-2, closely pursued by the Cowboys at 6-3.
What intensifies the competition is the fact that the Cowboys are slated to face the Eagles twice in their next seven games.
Every win from this point onward carries immense significance for the Cowboys, not only in their quest to secure the division title but also in terms of their playoff seeding.
In a perfect scenario, it would be prudent for Tony Romo to sit out to spare himself from pain and for Brandon Weeden to get another opportunity.
However, at this pivotal juncture in the season, with their playoff dreams still within reach, it appears the Cowboys cannot afford to take the gamble of going with Brandon Weeden and potentially jeopardizing their chances against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
This is especially pertinent if their medical experts, who possess more comprehensive information than we do, characterize the issue as related to ‘pain’ rather than posing a risk of ‘further damage.’
This time of the year, every NFL player grapples with physical challenges that require resilience and determination to overcome.
Tony Romo now faces a similar predicament, needing to push through discomfort to ensure his team remains competitive. In the NFL, no opponent should be underestimated; there are no easy matchups.
If Tony Romo is in a condition to take the field, he should indeed participate in Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.