For better or worse, the Cowboys have Tony Romo back, and with his new deal, he's almost certain to finish his career in Dallas. Will he be like Danny White and Dandy Don -- great stats but never able to get us to the Super Bowl? Or will he be more like Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, or Craig Morton and get us to a Super Bowl?
The answer, I believe, will have very little to do with Tony Romo.
The best chance Tony Romo has of getting us to the Super Bowl lies in the Cowboys putting a high-quality offensive line in front of him. He needs time to throw, and he needs a running game for balance.
In 2007, Romo had his best line -- Flo (Pro Bowl), Kosier, Gurode (Pro Bowl), Davis (Pro Bowl), Colombo -- and the team went 13-3, best in the NFC. That line quickly aged, however, and the Cowboys have never really been Super Bowl contenders since.
As I've pointed out many times, in the 8 years Dallas has made the Super Bowl, every one of those teams had at least 3 Pro Bowl linemen, and more often it was 4 or 5.
This is going to be just as true with Tony Romo as QB as it was with Aikman, Staubach, or Morton. Without an offensive line, the value of our offensive skill players will be wasted. Do you think Troy Aikman wins 3 Super Bowls without a Pro Bowl line and Emmitt Smith? Not a chance.
How can the line be fixed?
As I posted earlier, it shouldn't be that hard.
1. Use some of the $5 million freed up by the Romo deal to sign a new right tackle.
2. Draft either Jonathan Cooper or Chance Warmack with pick #18.
3. Let Bernardeau see if he can beat out Costa and Kowalski and Cook at center.
4. Cut Doug Free.
That would give the Cowboys 3 new offensive linemen in 2013, with the potential to be very solid once they gelled. (I wouldn't stop there. I'd consider drafting a second O-lineman to help push Nate Livings out in 2014.)
The other move on offense I would make? Draft another RB so we can stop worrying about Murray's health.
All the talk in coming days will be Romo, Romo, Romo. It's a distraction.
Give Romo a line like he had in 2007, and Dallas has a chance. Without it, we're still dead in the water.