The dreaded "R" word has started to float around the Dallas/Fort-Worth area recently. It was given even more juice when ESPN Dallas Radio personalities Ben Rogers and Skin Wade discussed the topic on today's "Ben and Skin" show. So, should the Cowboys scrap this current incarnation and move on?
No. This would be a total disaster and make the previous two season even more disappointing than they've already been. Ben and Skin went back and forth about whether or not guys like Tony Romo and Demarcus Ware should be moved this off season to the highest bidder. One such idea was to send #9 Tony Romo to the QB-starved New York Jets for the 9th pick in the draft. This would be a complete and utter steal for the Jets, and leave Dallas fully dependent on a guy that lost his last starting job to a future-CFL-All-Star.
In a league of parity, an elite Quarterback is essentially a qualifier to be able to win big games. Question all you want whether or not Romo is elite, but the fact remains that he gives this team a better chance to win right now than anybody else available (no, Joe Flacco is not available). He has already set a multitude of Dallas Cowboys records, and also owns the #5 career Passer Rating of all time!
If Dallas got rid of Romo, they would lose any hope of competing for a Super Bowl Trophy in the near future. And who's to say they're not all that close to competing? In the past two seasons, we saw a slightly above average New York Giants team as well as a Baltimore Ravens team that fired their Offensive Coordinator mid-season win it all. Their is a very slim margin between the top teams in this league and those that go 8-8. Trading Romo would widen that margin between the top and Dallas considerably.
The other thing to consider is what would Dallas get in return? If we use the hypothetical New York Jets proposal and Dallas gets the 9th pick, what does that get them? Not a Franchise QB, that's for sure. Matt Vensel of the Baltimore Sun has DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo going 9th, Gil Brandt at NFL.com has OLB Jarvis Jones going 9th, and both Rob Rang and Dane Brugler have DE Dion Jordan going 9th. It just isn't worth it to trade a proven NFL Quarterback for an unproven, albeit athletic, edge-rusher, and that seems to be the consensus at #9. And please, for the love of everything holy, do not suggest Matt Barkley. He's got Mark Sanchez written ALL over him (and Matt Leinart. and Ryan Leaf. and any other Pac-12 bust of a QB we've seen over the past decade).
Jason Garrett has preached "the process" continuously over the past two seasons. "The proccess" does not involve trading your franchise QB, that much we know. It involves getting a little bit better every single day, until one day, you're better than everyone else. We've seen Dallas improve steadily over the past two season under Garrett. If they don't make the playoffs next year, maybe you scrap the whole thing and hand the keys to the bus (a damn fine bus, at that) to someone else. But therein lies another problem. Dallas has already identified its next stud WR (Dez Bryant), star RB (Demarco Murray, if he can stay healthy), and has stocked up on a ton of young defensive talent (Morris Claiborne, Sean Lee, etc.), but there is no future option at Quarterback. That guy needs to at least be on the team before they even think about doing away with the current bus-driver.
It's not time for this team to re-build. It's time for them to try to win now, and that trying will be done with Tony Romo.
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