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Cowboys News & Notes: The Romo Fallout Continues

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The stunning statement from the veteran quarterback dominates the headlines, but there is more to cover as well, and we bring the best to you here.

Will this be the last image of Romo on the field in a Cowboys uniform?
Will this be the last image of Romo on the field in a Cowboys uniform?
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Romo’s Career Is Not Supposed To End Like This " CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

This brings home the tragedy of Romo's career - and makes you really hope, some way, some how, it is not over for him.

For a decade Romo dragged a lifeless franchise as close as he could get it to the finish line.

After years of missed evaluations on talent and very little organizational direction they decided to invest in their most important asset, an aging all-pro QB. They got a legitimate weapon on the outside in the first round of the 2010 draft. Then, they selected an offensive lineman in the first round of the 2011 draft (a first for Jerry Jones), another in 2013 and again in the first round of the 2014 draft. They gave Romo something he never had: the best offensive line in football. And in 2016 they drafted him a superstar at running back.

If "all of the world is a stage," then Tony Romo is our tragic hero.

Dallas Cowboys moves: Jason Garrett told Tony Romo starting Dak Prescott was in best interest of team | The Star-Telegram

There is little doubt that the decision on who starts at quarterback was in the hands of the head coach.

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has conversations with players all the time about their role and what is expected of them.

And while he acknowledged the talk he had with veteran quarterback Tony Romo was tougher because of the successes and personal relationship they have forged over the years, the tenor was same as with any player at any position.

He told Romo he didn't do anything to lose his job, but the decision to stick with rookie sensation Dak Prescott was in the best interest of the football team.

And that's the basis for all the decisions they make.

Garrett altering practice schedule to get Tony Romo extra reps | The Star-Telegram

One thing that should not be in doubt is that the Cowboys are doing everything they can to maximize their chances of making this all work. Don't forget that Romo still has work to do getting ready in case he is needed.

So with Romo preparing to the backup to Dak Prescott Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens after missing the first nine games with a fractured bone in his back coach Jason Garrett has decided to alter the practice schedule to him some extra work.

Cowboys' Tony Romo braced us for the moment he walks away to another team

One aspect of the quarterback situation that many have overlooked is that it is almost as wrenching for the owner as it is for the players.

One of the toughest things Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has had to stomach in his NFL tenure was watching quarterback Peyton Manning win another Super Bowl elsewhere. It was something that spawned an awkward verbal dance for Irsay over the past few years, as he struggled with the reality that Manning wouldn't retire as a Colt, and would wrap his career with a second Super Bowl ring that Irsay desperately wanted him to win in Indianapolis.

This is something that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will grapple with if Tony Romo doesn't retire this offseason. And make no mistake, this is what some inside the organization are quietly hoping for -€” that if Romo finishes this season as a backup, he will choose to hang up his cleats rather than go elsewhere.

For Jones, there is a brutal reality inside of the joy of seeing Dak Prescott flourish and grow. Jones loves Romo like a son. And seeing him potentially go elsewhere -€” maybe to the Denver Broncos -€” would be extremely difficult to take. Moreover, possibly seeing Romo win a Super Bowl with someone else, like DeMarcus Ware before him, would threaten to gut Jones emotionally.

Tony Romo's statement not a surprise to Cowboys QB Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN

Romo's powerful remarks proved he is an all-time great for the Cowboys. Dak Prescott's reaction shows he is a worthy heir to the king.

"This is our team. I said that two minutes ago and I'll say it again: This is our team," Prescott said. "Everybody plays a part in our success in what's happened and they'll play a part in the adversity that comes. The quarterback position always gets the blame and the credit, but if you look around and you watched the game Sunday, you see this is a true team and everybody's playing their part."

Tony Romo could be your team’s next quarterback - SBNation.com

With Romo's statement on being the backup now, the speculation on him going to another team after this season is in full swing. The Denver Broncos are being mentioned frequently, but another team also is being brought up as a good fit.

The New York Jets currently have four quarterbacks on the roster. Two of them — an injured Geno Smith and an ineffective Ryan Fitzpatrick — likely won't be back next season. Second-year quarterback Bryce Petty earned his first start just this past week and didn't exactly light the world on fire in a 9-6 loss to the Rams. Petty completed 19 of 32 passes for 163 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Christian Hackenberg, a rookie with raw ability, has yet to play.

However, the chance for two young quarterbacks to learn behind a veteran like Romo could interest the Jets, who have yet to find stability under center.

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Meanwhile, there is other news to cover about the rest of the team, plus the team is focused on that game coming up against the Baltimore Ravens.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco enters Sunday's game vs. Cowboys on down note - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN

There's a lot of focus on the matchup between the Raven's defense and the Cowboys' running game. But the Cowboys' defense may have something to exploit Sunday.

QB Joe Flacco: Much of the Ravens' struggles on offense are the result of injuries on the line and the inconsistency of Flacco. He's the 29th-rated passer in the NFL (78.3) and is one of four quarterbacks who don't have more touchdown passes than interceptions. Flacco's decision-making has been an issue. He's thrown five interceptions in his last three games. Only Philip Rivers has been picked off more during that span.

Ben Roethlisberger says Cowboys, not Patriots, are best team in the NFL - CBSSports.com

Interesting.

The Steelers have played the Patriots and the Cowboys. Roethlisberger did not play vs. New England, but he knows the team well and was on hand to see how they looked.

He believes Dallas is indeed the best team, a claim he repeated later in the interview.

"If there is ever a silver lining to take out of a football game, which a loss is a loss and that will eat all of us up and chew us all up, is that's probably the best team in football and we fought our butts off," Roethlisberger said. "And it came down to the last nine seconds or whatever it was. We just have to come back to work on Wednesday with AFC North football on our minds and get ready to play."

Dallas Cowboys: Sturm: Marinelli Report - Defense survives most difficult day, but is it sustainable? | SportsDay

In his weekly look at the defense, Bob Sturm points out a very significant thing about the win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

One way to know your football season is going very well is when you leave with a win despite someone shredding your defense for more yards, points, and big plays than anyone else had all season long.

That is almost too good to be true, but it is.

The Steelers scored 30 points after none of the Cowboys' first nine opponents scored over 23. They rolled up 448 yards when only Washington had exceeded 400 all season (432). Ben Roethlisberger passed for 400 passing yards when only Washington (350) and Chicago (312) exceeded 300 to this point.

And then the big plays: Only Washington went for five plays of 20+ yards all season, yet Pittsburgh got to 6. That is a very large number and one that usually translates to a loss. And when you allow your opponent four different touchdowns and six different scores, including two touchdowns inside the final 4 minutes - each time to take the lead - you almost always lose.

But somehow, the Cowboys won.

Pick Poison: New week, new playmaker steps up in Cowboys’ passing game | Cowboys Wire

Who is the favorite receiver for Prescott? Looks like it's whoever is getting open.

During Bryant's absence in the following three games, Prescott went back to Beasley to the tune of 13 catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns.  Beasley quickly became Prescott's favorite target -€” but really, how much of a favorite was he?

Bryant's return to action saw him get a total 10 catches for 229 yards and two touchdowns in games against the Eagles and Steelers.  Sandwiched in the middle was Jason Witten's 8 catches for 134 yards and touchdown against the Browns.

The underlying theme of the season so far is that any receiving target can have a huge  game on any given Sunday. Prescott will not discriminate and will work to find the forgotten receiver who the defense cannot cover that particular week because of all the attention they place elsewhere.

Is Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence ready for a sack streak? - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN

Looking for some reason to hope the defense is getting stronger for the stretch run? Consider what the past says about DeMarcus Lawrence.

If history means anything, Lawrence is about to start a hot streak of sacks.

In Sunday's win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Lawrence recorded his first sack of the season, dropping Ben Roethlisberger for an 8-yard loss on third-and-3 in the third quarter.

"Now I can really call myself a D-lineman again, I got a sack," Lawrence said.

After going without a sack in the regular season as a rookie, the first two sacks of Lawrence's career came in back-to-back playoff games in 2014. Last season, he had seven of his team-leading eight sacks in a seven-week period.

Dallas Cowboys insider: 5 observations on the Cowboys | The Star-Telegram

Just great words on the starting quarterback.

If you are waiting for Dak Prescott to hit the proverbial rookie wall and finally come down to earth, I would suggest you not hold your breath. That is, if you like to keep on living. The notion that Prescott is going to finally stop doing Prescott things is ludicrous. This is not some fairy tale. He didn't wish upon a star. No fairy Godmother turned his pumpkin into a carriage. Midnight is not upon us. Why? Because what Prescott has done to be so successful in what has been a sensational start to his rookie season is play fundamentally sound football. He is not wowing you with athleticism, although he is a good athlete. He is not running around in the pocket, throwing up Hail Marys that are miraculously finding their way into the hands of receivers. He is making good decisions. He is playing mistake free. He is poised. He is composed. He is who he is and who he has been. Why would that change? Certainly, the people around him aren't going to change. Sure, he will have his bad games and make his share of mistakes as all quarterbacks do, even as veterans Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have done this season. But it won't be about hitting a rookie wall and coming down to earth.

Elliott Named NFC Offensive Player Of The Week After Big Day In Pittsburgh | Dallas Cowboys

Remember when many "experts" were questioning the wisdom of using the fourth overall pick in the draft on a running back? Given the way Ezekiel Elliott keeps collecting accolades, those opinions look rather foolish.

Given Elliott's showing against the Steelers, it's hardly surprising. He rushed 21 times for 114 yards, including two touchdowns -€” both of which came in the dying moments of a scintillating fourth quarter. He also caught two passes for 95 yards, one of which was an 83-yard touchdown that jolted the Cowboys out of a sluggish start.

Follow me @TomRyleBTB