Every sports team manages to find its success through small decisions that later turns out to be huge. Often, an unplanned turning point — that at the moment seems trivial — can soon become a pivotal factor in the season.
It can determine who wins trophies and championships, and who ends up with nothing. A leading argument that is being seen on the run-up to the beginning of the NFL Playoffs, though, is the choice of who should be the signal caller for the Dallas Cowboys. There’s a lot of debate swelling at the moment on whether the choice to lead the postseason should be Tony Romo or Dak Prescott.
I’ll try and put across the argument for why Romo should be the pick over Prescott. Despite the fact that Prescott has been fantastic this season for the Cowboys, and has been showing why he might be the next star in that position for the team, Romo should start in the playoffs for sure.
— Dallas Cowboys news (@dmn_cowboys) December 7, 2016
I don’t agree with Fox Sports often, but it ran a report back in October that offered four reasons why a then-hobbled Romo should get his job back once he recovers.
“Romo is the better quarterback. He holds franchise records for just about every relevant passing statistic and is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in NFL history. He has the third-highest passer rating of all time and is fourth in completion percentage. Those are numbers no sane person can argue with. In his past five seasons, Romo has thrown 129 touchdowns and 55 interceptions. Take out his injury-filled 2015 campaign and his numbers are even better.”
Despite his injury setbacks this year, Romo has the experience that should always be counted on when it comes to the biggest matches. Here are two reasons why I’m backing the Eastern Illinois University standout.
One of the main reasons why I believe Romo should win his spot back and be the main pick in the playoffs is quite simple: experience. The historical precedent shows that “rookie” signal callers like Prescott tend to struggle in the postseason.
Indeed, since the merger, there has been a shocking 15-42 touchdown to turnover ratio for fresher quarterbacks, according to Pro Football Reference. Indeed, only three of these passers managed to top over 200 yards. Clearly, Romo has experience and knowledge in those situations that Prescott simply cannot match — if history is any indicator.
Some critics contend that Romo carries a reputation of falling apart in the playoffs, but it’s actually a false statistic. With the fact that the Cowboys have one of the best offenses in the NFL at the moment, the main reason why Romo has struggled before – terrible offense – is gone.
— SuperTuittero (@SuperTuittero) December 9, 2016
I’ve always envisioned the world in which Romo had a balanced offense, and all cylinders fired like sounds of good music. Now, his experience should shine through rather than be a non-issue.
With a 60 percent pass completion rate in the playoffs in his career (six games in total), the veteran has thrown eight touchdowns against a mere two interceptions. Also, he’s greatly improved as time has gone on regarding playoff appearances.
Prescott still has to do some postseason maturation, and this shouldn’t be a season to sacrifice for the Cowboys. I’m all for forward thinking and the amazing ride Dallas is seeing at the moment. But should Jerry Jones stay on the present course or approach Week 17 with an abundance of caution? I’d argue the latter.
Romo has already been there and done it. Between 2006 and 2014, he’s improved massively in playoffs. In his last two matches at this stage of the season, he completed 68 percent of his passes with a total of 484 yards.
This helped to create four scores with zero picks against. In my book, it’s hard to argue against the numbers; they don’t lie. Taking a pragmatic viewpoint, those are some pretty compelling numbers.
To put things in further perspective, Prescott is not the secret sauce, despite his rising fan mania. That honor goes to Ezekiel Elliott. The running back leads the NFL in total yards (1285) and scoring (12 touchdowns) at the time of this writing, according to ESPN.
Dak Prescott might be the future of the Cowboys — and I have no doubt that he’s going to go on to have a stellar career — but Tony Romo has the know how to manage crunch time situations. It almost feels like, with the Cowboys finally strong up front, this is the year for his skills as a signal caller to shine through once and for all.
I’m not willing to empty a box of tissue by saying to Jones: I told you so. To me, the veteran gets the nod — hands-down.
[Featured Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]