Let's face it, the Dallas Cowboys will go exactly as far as Tony Romo can take them and not one step further. That was made painfully clear last season. All it took was a pair of broken clavicles and the Cowboys were done. We have all heard the claims that Romo has several more seasons left as the starter, but many have started to question that fact, perhaps with some cause.
Naturally the Cowboys and Romo view matters differently. The Dallas passer recently addressed his recent bout with injuries, and the impact it had on the team.
"I guess what I'm trying to say, basically, is I feel like last year was an anomaly. If we're going to base it all on that, you have to come back and prove differently. But the fact that we went 4-12, whether I was playing or not -- we have to do better. I think part of that is me being healthy, I think part of that is guys getting better and improving."
There is a lot of truth in those words. Nobody doubts that the team would have found more success had it been able to run #9 out on the field on a weekly basis. Perhaps they would have made a return trip to the playoffs, but that is neither here nor there. What now matters is the upcoming season, and getting through 16 games with Mr. Romo under center.
Romo has not completed a full 16 game season since 2012, and given his age it is easy to see why some doubt that Romo will prove capable of that in the upcoming year. Between his back and his collarbone Romo has spent a lot of the latter portion of his career on the mend. Hoping that the surgeries over the past few offseasons have totally fixed the situations is wishful thinking.
It is also ignoring how tough Romo is. We have seen him play through broken ribs in the past, and goodness knows what else he has played through that never found its way into the weekly reports. Tony does not have to be 100%, or even 90%, for Dallas to be a serious contender in 2016. He just has to survive the worst of it.
The veteran quarterback knows exactly what he is facing, and he feels like he will be able to avoid the big injury and get the job done for the Cowboys.
"I understand where I'm at in my career. I also understand that -- I was hurt and banged up last year, but it's a collarbone. I don't think my collarbone is going to be anything that takes you out every year that you play football."
"Back" can easily but substituted for "collarbone" in that statement if you like. If he can function and be effective, Tony Romo will be out there leading his teammates into battle. As Will Brinson alluded in his piece for CBS Sports, if Romo can stay healthy the Cowboys will be very good but if he cannot it will be another long season.
Just remember, Romo defines healthy in the same way that his roommate, Jason Witten does. If he can make it on to the field, he is healthy enough to play some football.