Guess who's back? Back again. Tony's back. Tell a friend. Guess who's back, guess who's back , guess who's back....
It's been a rough stretch, but Tony Romo is finally back. Fans have had to endure a little bit of Weeden mixed in with some Matt Cassel. And it's felt so empty without Tony. So with the return of Tony upon us, let's get to the phones and have the front page writers answer some questions.
Question 1 - People at my work have been sticking up a lot of unfavorable Cowboys memes at my desk over the last couple months. Personally, I think it's a form of harassment, but I'm such a nice guy - I just let it slide. How have things been for you this season as a Cowboys fan as far as dealing with all those salt-pouring, ice holes out there?
One Cool Customer: I don't get a lot of that in Germany. Though there is one guy at the office with an interest in the Seahawks, and he sometimes tries to give me grief. I look at him and say, "Our QB is injured, what's your excuse?" Our conversations don't last long beyond that.
Rabblerousr: I live in Philadelphia, so I keep my Cowboys fandom to myself for the most part--not because I'm not proud of my 'Boys or unwilling to engage in some verbal repartee or, if necessary, fisticuffs. It's because the people in Philly--imagine!--turn it into a moral argument. And moral arguments can't be reasoned with or answered with facts. And they are justified when answered with fists. So, I keep it low-pro
Michael Sisemore: Austin is sort of melting pot much like NYC or LA. We have fans from all over that revel in the Cowboys' failures but for the most part once I bring up the topic of where would they be with Romo playing all the games, it gets pretty damn quiet. I actually know quite a few people that believe the Cowboys can still make a run at the East now that Romo is back.
Tom Ryle: Maybe it's a function of my retired and semi-hermit like existence, but I don't get into many discussions about the Cowboys. I just suffer through the games.
Question 2 - There are a lot of different theories about how things will be different with Tony Romo finally back. What Romo-influenced factory do you think we see on Sunday that will have the greatest impact on the game?
One Cool Customer: I think the Miami defense will have to play honest against Romo and protect the deep field. That means no stacking the box, which should open up room to throw underneath and a lot of possibilities in the run game.
Rabblerousr: The mere fact that he'll be there. After a play or two, once the other guys perceive that Number Nine will be okay, I expect they'll be able to relax and just play ball, which is something they haven't done since Brandon Weeden's first half interception against the Falcons.
Michael Sisemore: The offense runs through Romo. Heck, the team runs through Romo. As he goes, so does this team. I think the offense will start cooking but the defense may actually be the benefactor. I believe they finally have their closer which makes everything else fall into it's rightful place.
Tom Ryle: I honestly think it is just having the leader back on the field that will matter the most, for everyone who sees the field. It's like Hawkeye said in the last Avengers film, no one looks for Hawkeye to bail them out when things are at their worst. The Cowboys seemed to have a lack of faith they could pull it out the during the losing streak, and with Romo, everyone knows they have a chance under almost any circumstances. I think that will make a difference for them all
Question 3 - If all of the sudden the Cowboys go on a win-streak and starting building up some Romomentum, things are going to get interesting. Tony should consider changing his name to Google, because clearly - he's everything we've all been searching for. Thinking back through his career, what is your favorite Tony Romo moment?
One Cool Customer: One of the league-leading 18 game-winning drives Tony Romo has led since 2011. Yes, you read that right. Despite missing 9 games and playing through various injuries like broken bones in his back, broken ribs, and a punctured lung, Romo leads all NFL QBs in game-winning drives over the last five years.
Rabblerousr: There are so many, obviously. Mine would have to be the game at San Francisco in 2011, when he suffered a broken rib and something in the realm of a punctured lung yet came back on the field and led a comeback without either Dez Bryant or Miles Austin on the field. Yes, he won the game with Kevin Ogletree and Jesse Holley split wide.
Michael Sisemore: The San Francisco game of a few years back was great but it got replaced with last year's playoff win versus Detroit. The way he orchestrated the comeback, you just had the feeling that Detroit was done for and there was nothing they could do about it. I also take great pride in his thrashing of the Seahawks last season. Tony Romo is my favorite player, it's hard to pick just one.
Tom Ryle: For me, it's not just one moment, but all those times he goes all Romodini, spinning away from rushers and somehow finding a receiver to keep a drive alive or score a touchdown. That kind of things is the flip side of the faith his own teammates have in him - it puts a dagger in the other team's heart.
Question 4 - The Cowboys lost Lance Dunbar for the year, they cut Joseph Randle a couple weeks ago, and the injury-prone Darren McFadden is dealing with a groin injury and is listed as questionable. Then, at corner - the team lost Orlando Scandrick in training camp and the injury-prone Morris Claiborne will now be missing his first game with a hamstring injury. So at the worst possible moment, the team releases Christine Michael and Corey White. (In my Jerry Seinfield voice) What is the deal with that?
One Cool Customer: The deal with that is that those players simply weren't good enough. I sometimes wonder what it is with Cowboys fans and their low-man-wins roster philosophy: The lower a player is on depth chart, the better he must be. The sky will surely darken the day the Cowboys cut Kellen Moore (again).
Rabblerousr: I think the truth of the matter is that the bottom of the roster really doesn't matter; every guy you cut is more or less the same as every guys who is available. So, why not take a chance, since there's always the possibility of unearthing a David Irving.
Michael Sisemore: Christine Michael has done absolutely nothing since he's been here, though I was excited when they signed him. A lot of whispers suggest that coaches just never trusted him to pick up the offense and he never forced his way into playing time. As far as Corey White, I thought he was playing better than Tyler Patmon but sometimes coaches like their guys. When it comes to roster churning, I don't get up in arms about guys that are playing limited snaps. These two names don't warrant a fan uprising by any means.
Tom Ryle: I'm with Michael on this. Two players that were not seeing the field, especially lately, don't cause much of a stir for me. I do wish they had come up with a better solution at running back sooner, but there is no magic formula to make sure you get a good player at any time. Churn happens, and we can just hope they have found some solutions for the stretch run.
Question 5 - The Dolphins new coach, Dan Campbell has done a great job this season in Miami. He has his guys making plays. After a rough start, they've won three of their last five games, including doing all of us a favor by beating Philadelphia last week. What player are you most concerned about on Sunday?
One Cool Customer: LDE Derrick Shelby. The Cowboys are going to gameplan for DT Ndamukong Suh as much as they can, and they'll leave RDE Oliver Vernon in Tyrone Smith's capable hands. I worry that they're going to overlook Shelby, who stepped in at LDE when Cameron Wake tore his Achilles three weeks ago. Plus Shelby gets to go against Doug Free.
Rabblerousr: Slot receiver Jarvis Landry. Landry was a teammate of Odell Beckham, Jr. at LSU--and may well be the more dynamic player of the two. This is a bad week not to have Mo Claiborne's services--not because Claiborne would line up over Landry in the slot, but because his presence would allow Rod Marinelli and the defensive coaches to come up with some creative ways to delimit the damage Landry might inflict.
Michael Sisemore: Ndamukong Suh is the best player on the team. Keep him off Tony Romo.
Tom Ryle: Since I wrote an article about him being the key player to watch, I obviously have to go with Suh. If they can handle him, I think they can manage most of the other weapons Miami has. I am especially hope they keep the recent string of safeties that the Dolphins have surrendered alive.