Trying to come up with a new, fresh approach to a story that seems as old as time itself can be as hard as figuring why the person in the title is error prone in big matches.
Tony Romo. Dallas Cowboys. Quarterback. America's Team Quarterback.
That's the huge weight that he carries around with him when he' s on the golf course. As well as the times he takes snaps on the football field. The number of players in his position, on the team that is under the constant media microscope, and thrived and succeeded, can be counted on one hand. Those that fail are often thrown by the side of the road, hitching a ride into the NFL wilderness.
Maybe that's the problem.
The Dallas Cowboys have once again come out in the past week stating that Romo is very much in the future plans of what they are trying to achieve on the field. “Tony is a key piece of what we’re about going forward,” Stephen Jones told ESPN Dallas. “We’re certainly going to be looking at his situation (in) time. We’ve historically (extended contracts) with quarterbacks for the Dallas Cowboys ahead of time. We did it with Troy (Aikman) and we certainly want to look at that with Tony so we can all move forward in terms of how we want to play around our salary cap with our team. Tony is the key piece in terms of how your cap is represented.”
These sentiments are pretty much an echo of what Stephen Jones' father and Cowboys owner/GM told reporters a few short weeks ago. So the routine is the same, even if the voice is an octave or two different.
Back to the problem.
Could it be that Dallas have never had to deal with a situation like this with their headline act. Lets hear from one of those who, as i mentioned before, thrived on being the big name. “I’m a big fan of his and I’ve said it all along,” Aikman said, via the Dallas Morning News. "He's a special player. Unfortunately, not enough people recognize that.” speaking about the average Cowboys/NFL follower. “I maintain that they’re close,” Aikman said. “And I know that people keep asking, ‘Hey, can Tony Romo lead this team to a Super Bowl?’ And I believe that he can. It’s hard to do. Whether or not he ultimately does it or doesn’t, to me, isn’t really the primary thing. The main thing is you build this team, if you believe that he is capable of doing that, which I believe he is and I believe the Cowboys feel that way as well. Then, you can put the other pieces around him and you have a chance to be really good.”
And therein lies the problem.
The Cowboys and the NFL know that Tony Romo is a very good quarterback. On the brink of something special. The pieces that Aikman referred to are being put in place, in terms of coaching staff. More notably on defense, but the hiring of a new offensive line coach - who could well end up calling the offensive shots - a new running backs coach, to help ease the passing burden. The problem that the Cowboys can't fix is two fold.
Firstly, if they cut their losses now and let Romo go then he could end up biting their tails by producing on a different team, proving that it wasnt him that was at fault for those heartbreaking defeats in division deciders, and other such games. That would be a real sting in the tail. Secondly, who would they replace him with? The QB Draft class doesn't seem to be up to much this year (but then we were spoilt with the riches it produced in 2012), and if it,s a trade option then whoever Dallas get in return from the team landing Romo, wouldn't be anywhere near as good as the player they would be getting.
This is what I believe to be the heart of the matter. They as of yet haven't found a way to win with Romo, but sure as hell don't want to be the ones who cut him loose to end up saying 'I told you so' by the man himself and those holding the microscope.
In my humble opinion I feel that as of now the long suffering Cowboys Nation will see the current number 9 under centre for at least one, if not two more seasons before it's mutually agreed that a new man is needed to bring Dallas back to the promised land. How much Romo is willing to sacrifice in making this happen is the question.
Striking a solid tee shot on the links may not be the answer.