As Dallas fans each of us has heard this question surrounding the coverage of our team and our knee jerk reaction as a fanatic is always "Yes! Of course he can!!" It is what we want to believe. As the data mounts and we get a better and better read on what Tony Romo actually is we have to really address this question. The facts are standing on their own and Romo isn't getting any younger. If the current group of Cowboys has a 2-3 year window (and I believe the offensive window is much wider than that) then shouldn't we take every step to take full advantage of that? I believe, if you honestly think Tony Romo CAN'T win the Super Bowl then we have a prime opportunity to jump start the Cowboys for both the present and into the future. I'll explain after the jump.
5 Facts that you must accept as such before the rest of this makes any sense:
Peyton Manning could be a free agent as soon as next week. He is looking to go to a contender. He is willing to accept a "pay for play" contract. You believe that Tony Romo does not have the ability to win a Super Bowl in his make-up. You believe that over the next three years Peyton Manning is a better QB than Tony Romo.
Romo will be playing in his 32, 33 and 34 years. Manning is his 36, 37, 38 years.
This is the kind of splash that JERRAH lives for. He is guaranteed to get performance for his investment and the marketing opportunities on the side alone will pay for the contract. Not to mention the increased possibility of prime time games for the Cowboys with Eli Manning's rising star and two guaranteed Big Brother/Little Brother match-ups every year. That's the financial side of the move and it's a positive.
The Cowboys would lose Romo, but what would be gained in return? Don't you think that any of these GM's that are currently considering risking a #1 pick and a heap of money on drafting a QB would rather trade that pick and give the money to a proven NFL commodity? History shows that drafting your QB of the Future is at best a 50/50 proposition and you have to invest the money whether it is hit or miss. Meanwhile, you can give up that pick and a conditional 3rd or 4th to get a proven NFL passer with 5-6 years left to jumpstart your team. There are several teams that would jump on this opportunity - Vikings, Browns, Redskins, Jaguars, Seahawks and Cardinals all have picks in the top 13 and are thinking they need a QB. The Cowboys could either take a QB to learn from Peyton for the next three years or use the extra first rounder to shore up the defense where at least 3 starters are needed.
Even if Peyton costs $20M against the cap, you are losing Romo's $10M and the Cowboys are projected near $25M in cap room for next year. So you pick up a Super Bowl winning QB, everyone in the NFL is talking about the Cowboys as elite again, you pick up an extra 1st round draft pick (at a minimum) for Romo and you still have around $15M to spend in free agency for 2012. if you use the extra 1st rounder on a QB2 to groom then you are addressing both the present and the future with this flurry of moves. If you use it on defense then you are going all in on the now.
What if it backfires? What if Peyton can't cut it as an NFL QB anymore? Then either you have used an extra 1st round pick on a QB of the future and have surrounded him with great, young talent (Witten 30, Austin 28, Bryant 24, Laurent 27 - if resigned, Murray 24, Jones 25, Smith OL 21) to start a rebuild of the offense or you have used that pick to help the defense be much improved and you invest a 3rd or 4th in a trade for a journeyman like Orton to make it out of the year and then go franchise QB shopping next year. And remember . . . this is the WORST CASE SCENARIO!!
Either way, success or not success, the decision is made and you have not wasted any of your current assets on a path that you may change your mind about later. THIS is the decision that charts the course in one way or another for the franchise over the next several years . . . all that is left is to wait and see how it turns out.
This idea has been rambling around in my brain for a few days now and I am casting it to you of Blogging the Boys for feedback. Am I giving too much time to a pipe dream here or could this be one of those "Phillies sign Cliff Lee/Angels sign Albert Pujols" moments in the making?