Tony Romo suffered another serious injury to his back in the first quarter of the third preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks when he was making his debut. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback is now reportedly sitting out for six to 10 weeks as his fractured vertebra heals. Many NFL fans and even a few experts have been outspoken in their wonder about whether or not this should be the end for Romo, who has been plagued with back injuries for years.
Those who believe that Tony Romo should retire have argued previously that the Cowboys QB is fragile. Romo sat out most of the last NFL season when he fractured his left clavicle. The biggest issue for his team was that he didn’t have a suitable backup quarterback. That issue seems to be solved, though, because despite the Cowboys inability to draft a seasoned pro, they did end up getting a pretty impressive rookie in Dak Prescott.
Entering 2016, Tony Romo had started 16 games in just 4 of his 9 seasons as Dallas starter.
His injury history: https://t.co/yjLj4HBefp
— ESPN (@espn) August 28, 2016
So what should happen if Prescott continues to tear up the astroturf heading into the 2016-17 NFL season? Will that be enough for the Dallas Cowboys to give up one of their most celebrated players?
It seems that Tony Romo has been plagued with health issues since 2013 when he suffered a herniated disc in his back during Week 16 and required surgery. In 2014, Romo injured his back again during Week 8’s Monday Night Football game. This time, a fracture to his back only forced the quarterback to stay out for one full game and he ended up returning in Week 10.
In 2015, it wasn’t Tony Romo’s back that caused him to miss games. This time around, the Dallas Cowboys QB fractured his collarbone and had to sit out several games, returning in Week 10 again. Cut to 2016 and the popular Dallas quarterback managed to take a hard hit from Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril. In the many replays of the play, it became obvious that while the hit was certainly legal, it caused Romo’s already fragile spine to bend in a very unnatural way, causing a fracture and sending him back to the injured list.
— #SoulNSports (@SoulNSports) August 29, 2016
There has been much debate about who could or should back up Tony Romo in the event that he was injured again. There were arguments in favor of Dak Prescott, who is the new flashy rookie quarterback who impressed during his debut and continues to impress Dallas Cowboys fans. Others thought the Texas team should look outside their own roster and pick up one of the many available quarterbacks in a league that is deep with talent this season.
Right now, the Dallas Cowboys’ plan is to start Dak Prescott and hope that he continues to play just as well in the regular season as he has in the preseason. CBS Sports reports that Romo is still the starting quarterback, though. Once that fracture in his back is healed, Romo is expected to take the field and he won’t be playing second fiddle to Prescott.
Given Dak Prescott’s strong start in the Dallas Cowboys’ preseason, some are wondering what will happen if Prescott is on a winning streak when Tony Romo is healthy. There have already been comparisons to Drew Bledsoe and the New England Patriots. Lest we forget the beginning of Tom Brady and look at where that has got his team now?
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) August 28, 2016
To make this recent injury more of a hint at Tony Romo’s retirement, the Dallas Cowboys’ staff are already talking about it. Cowboys COO and director of player personnel Stephen Jones already brought up the Tony Romo-Drew Bledsoe comparison. Keep in mind that Tom Brady was once relatively unknown and was taken in the seventh round. Dak Prescott may have been picked up late in the draft with the 136th pick but that is nothing compared to Brady’s legendary last round pick.
“I can’t imagine a scenario where Tony’s not our quarterback when he’s ready,” Jones was quoted by the Monday Morning Quarterback. “But things happen. You know that. You know what happened to Bledsoe and Brady.”
It looks like the Dallas Cowboys are looking to do what is best for the team and if that means keeping Dak Prescott as the starting quarterback when Romo recovers, that possibility will be visited. Now Cowboys fans just have to hope that Prescott can stand up to the pressure and deliver like a Brady.
[Photo by Elaine Thompson/AP Images]