The Dak Prescott/Tony Romo debate has been effectively decided for some time now, but the question of getting Romo some snaps could find new life if the Dallas Cowboys secure the top seed/first-round bye in the NFC race.
The Dallas Cowboys will likely find themselves in an enviable situation shortly. Jason Garrett and his staff are going to have to weigh the options of resting the starters against the risk of injury by playing them when there is nothing tangible remaining to play for until the post season begins. Recently Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin was asked about the team’s options and his take on the issue.
"I'm of the belief you play them. Paul Brown didn't sit his starters in the 1950s, Vince Lombardi didn't sit his starters in the 1960s and the Chuck Noll didn't sit their starters in the 1970s. That philosophy worked out quite well for those Hall of Fame coaches and their respective dynasties. Especially if the Cowboys have that first round bye -- that would mean two weeks without the starters taking a snap. I'd play them in the finale, at least a half.
99% of the time I would find myself agreeing with Gosselin. This time around, I beg to differ, at least where Tony Romo is concerned.
Romo is an NFL-caliber starting quarterback whom many teams around the league would love to have on their roster. Dallas is fortunate enough to have two such quarterbacks as they enter the playoffs. The only issue that the team has is the fact that Romo has only taken a handful of competitive snaps in over a season and a half. Regardless of what may be said, he does need an opportunity to shake of the rust just in case something should happen to Dak Prescott.
With nothing left to play for, the Dallas offense would be well served to give Romo an opportunity to get out on the field and play some football. Even a seasoned veteran needs a few competitive snaps to acclimate himself to game conditions, especially in a playoff atmosphere. Let him have an opportunity to work on his timing with Dez Bryant and get a feel for handing the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott; most importantly let him get a renewed taste for the action. Doing so during a ‘nothing’ game is a much wiser move than risking having to allow these things to happen when it is win or go home.
For such a move to have the most benefit it is important that Romo work alongside the rest of the Dallas 1’s. These are the guys he will be riding with if he is forced into action. The starters should not play the whole game, but they and Romo do need to work together for a decent portion of the contest. From my point of view the Cowboys are going to soon step into a unique opportunity and it would behoove the coaching staff to take full advantage.