I've never been one to think Tony Romo was anything less than an elite quarterback. I have no doubt Jason Witten and Demarcus Ware will go straight into the Hall of Fame and the Circle of Honor. I also like Jason Garrett as a coach and really like the way the front office drafted and improved the defense in the off-season.
When we beat the Giants on opening night, I thought we were going to the playoffs for sure, as tough as our schedule was.
So I've always been an optimist. And a long time fan. From Troy Aikman, to Roger Staubach, to Danny White, to Craig Morton, to Dandy Don Meredith. And a few in between. I've followed the team from Super Bowls, to bitter playoff losses, to horrible seasons, like when they went 1-15 in the first year of the Jerry Jones era.
So I'll continue to be a fan, even if they lose twelve games this year, something that looks entirely possible.
And that brings me to my point. With our core - Romo, Witten, Ware, and Ratlif all 30 years old, I think it's time we hit the reset button. Yes, we have a number of very promising young players, Tyron Smith, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Morris Caiborne, and DeMarco Murray. But the woeful drafts of 2006 (only Jason Hatcher remains), 2007 (only Anthony Spencer), 2008 (a diminished Felix Jones and a third-string Mike Jenkins), and 2009 (Victor Butler) have taken their toll. Yes, as I said, there is promise on the horizon, but it's time we square up to the fact that this team is not going anywhere but Disappointment Street.
There are lots of reasons. It starts with the offensive line. But we also need better depth. Yes, we've been hit with a lot of injuries but that's life in the NFL.
So I say let's blow it up. Trade Romo now. Trade Ware. Trade Whitten. Trade Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Jay Ratliff. Get first round draft choices, seconds, thirds, or young players on another roster with promise. I don't want to be unrealistic, but surely, Ware and Romo would bring in first round picks. Maybe Witten too.
I know we could be looking at a prolonged mess until we find another franchise quarterback and I don't have any illusions about how hard that will be. But we're not a player away. Four of the five guys on the offensive line need to be replaced. We need another running back (because Jones is a shadow of his second string self). We need another edge rusher. More depth at safety. Receiver depth. And probably a replacement of Dez and definitely a legit third receiver.
This is not a team that another off-season will fix. Romo is regressing because teams like the Giants can get pressure to him on critical drives in the fourth quarter. Teams like the Giants do it without blitzing. Romo is also regressing because he's got two receivers, Dez and Ogletree, who still don't run the routes they are supposed to. If anyone drops a pass, then it just increases the pressure on Romo.
No running game, no deep threat, no offensive line.
Put Romo on a team with a real offensive line and a running game, and watch out. He, Ware and Witten, in particular, are "get us over the hump" kind of players. And this Cowboys team needs some more Claibornes, Smiths, Carters and Lees to rebuild a foundation for a championship run.
So let's not string this out any longer. Let's get busy with a rebuilding project.