Before we even get started here, let me add the disclaimer: I think that Tony Romo is capable of leading this team to a Super Bowl and I don't think it's necessarily that far away. I don't solely blame him for any of the three loses this season, as they have all been team efforts with multiple factors. He is playing behind a wildly inconsistent offensive line. It's not all Romo's fault.
OK, with that out the way, let's take a ride on to the train of thought.
After seeing their starting quarterback go down for the season the Raiders brass refuse to give up on a promising season. Oakland lost QB Jason Campbell to a broken collarbone on a scramble play against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and in response sources say they'll trade their 2012 first round pick and a another high, conditional pick for holdout Carson Palmer. If the Raiders win a playoff game in 2011, the conditional pick becomes a 2013 first-rounder. If not, it stays at a 2013 second-rounder.
I guess they weren't interested in anything backup Kyle Boller was offering.
Palmer has remained true to his word from the offseason that if the Cincinnati Bengals didn't trade him, he refused to play another snap for the organization. They promptly drafted Andy Dalton in the second round and have speed out to a surprising 4-2 record with wins in their last three.
Palmer's current contract runs through the 2014 season and for big money, so that gives Oakland plenty of time to see what they have in supplemental draft selection Terrelle Pryor.
The interesting part though is, and how it brings me back to Dallas and Romo, is that Carson Palmer really hasn't been that good the last couple of years.
Continue following the train of thought after the jump.
Palmer has thrown 33 interceptions over the last two seasons. The rest of his stats look respectable, averaging about 3,500 yards and 23 TDs a season. However anyone that actually watched any Bengals games will tell you that Palmer is the king of the garbage-time stat and the comeback-killing turnover.
I'd put Romo's three best seasons (2007-2009) against Palmer's three best (2005-2007) any day of the week and twice on Sundays. His career starting record dwarfs Palmer, 41-25 to 46-51. I know the Raiders paid the bounty because they are trying not to lose the season, but you'd have to think that Romo would net at least what Palmer did, right? At the very least, right?
In Peter King's MMQB column yesterday, he consulted former Giants GM Ernie Acorsi on what it would take to trade for Andrew Luck. Acorsi of course was involved in the Eli Manning for Phillip Rivers trade last decade. Acorsi's response?
I think three first-round picks for the first selection in the 2012 draft is more than fair if the team that earns that right is in a dealing mood. One of those picks would have to be in the top 10 of the 2012 draft. "If he's as good as everyone says he is, absolutely it's a realistic price,'' Accorsi said.
So that brings us back to Romo now. If you could get two-first round picks from an AFC team that feels like pulling the trigger in one deal, would you essentially trade Romo (that package of two picks) and a 2012 first-round draft pick for Andrew Luck?
Obviously Luck isn't a sure thing, but he has graded out as the best quarterback prospect ever, even better than Peyton Manning according to some reports. Of course those same grades said that Ryan Leaf was a viable alternative, so take that big grain of salt. It's way too early to start thinking about this now, with more than two-thirds of the schedule left to play. But this season could go in numerous different directions and no one should feel secure in saying what will happen next.
If Romo leads the team to a 8-3 record down the stretch and secures a playoff win, this conversation becomes comical. If they only win seven and lose a wild card road game while he endures a couple brain freezes along the way, the chatter isn't dismissed so easily. If we go 5-6 or worse? Doesn't this conversation have to be held at that point?
More to the point, even as loyal as Jerry Jones is to 'his guys', if Romo contributes enough to a couple more frustrating losses, doesn't he start to consider this? Don't you think Jerry would be dying to make a splash if Dallas suffers through a second consecutive playoff session from the couch?
What's your take BTB? The players have an off-day from practice today, let's play a little what if.