ICYMI, it is now official that Dak Prescott will sit (along with just about everyone remotely resembling a starter) as the Dallas Cowboys play their final preseason game against the Houston Texans.
With Jameill Showers the only other available quarterback on the roster, the Cowboys are searching for a backup that could at least get through plays should anything happen to him.
In search of quarterback depth, the Cowboys are expected to hold a scheduled workout with free agent quarterback Austin Davis, who was released by the Cleveland Browns on Monday.
If Davis is not signed, Dallas might have to use Cole Beasley as the emergency quarterback - he did play the position in high school. But he would be the shortest QB to play since cars had fins, at least.
In any case, Prescott is clearly the starter until Tony Romo is able to return. There are believers and doubters. This is a very encouraging read from a disinterested analyst who took a long look at his work so far (complete with lots of screenshots and video clips to illustrate things), and who saw someone who looks quite a bit like a viable NFL quarterback.
The good news is Prescott has shown some advanced quarterbacking skills, albeit in preseason games.
One thing that has stood out in Prescott's preseason film is that he's comfortable in the pocket, especially against the blitz. Some quarterbacks never master that, so it's impressive to see it from a rookie.
In the interest of balance, here is a much more cautious take on Prescott's outlook.
The facts remain that with the way the Cowboys' roster is currently constructed, they need their offense to be elite in order to be successful. There simply is not enough talent on the defensive side of the ball for Dallas fans to expect that unit to win games, so the offense will need to pick up the slack.
As much as I'm impressed with what Dak has done this preseason, rookie quarterbacks simply aren't that successful in the NFL. Cowboy fans will have to be extremely patient as their young signal caller develops into someone who can carry this team into the future.
There is more than one way to solve the QB depth issue for the near term. Jerry Jones thinks it is an open question as to how many they need to carry, depending on how Romo's recovery is expected to go.
"It's not impossible that we go with two quarterbacks during this interim period of time with Tony," Jones said. "We are having and getting other opinions, other information to give us a better feel for the length of time we may be looking at here as to whether we put him on IR or not. So, that has some bearing on it."
At least one other NFL quarterback doesn't think Romo is gong to be out long, and could even be ready for the first game against the New York Giants.
Former NFL quarterback David Carr has a unique perspective as he's suffered the exact same injury during his career. He simply doesn't see it holding Romo out for the generally reported 6-10 week timeframe. He sees him possibly surprising everyone and returning much sooner.
However, after seeing what happened last season when he pushed to get back on the field, this just seems like a horribly bad idea. Even if Prescott has a rough start to his career, the staff should be firm and give Romo plenty of time to get over his injury and then make sure he is back in shape to play.
Former NFL player and (briefly) Dallas Cowboy Ross Tucker asks Romo to consider very seriously if he should even try to come back. Tucker had a similar injury that ended his career.
That's actually why I'm writing this to you; whether you realize it or not, I think you've got a tough decision to make regarding whether or not you should ever play the game you love so much again. I'm not going to tell you what to do -- that's ultimately up to you to decide. I'm just going to give you some things to think about from a guy that has also had back issues and is eight years removed from my playing days.
It really comes down to this: I don't know many (any?) guys that have had spine injuries like we have yet feel totally fine these days. Those guys just don't seem to exist. I actually feel pretty decent most of the time, but I am very conscious of avoiding anything that could potentially aggravate my back, which has bothered me off and on since I hurt it in 2004 and subsequently had surgery on it in 2005 with Buffalo. I've learned that lesson the hard way too many times and basically don't do anything that could compromise how it feels. It's just not worth it.
This is here just for a little perspective: The season can end at any time, for any player, in very unexpected ways.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a dislocated knee and a torn ACL when he went down during a noncontact drill at practice Tuesday, ending his 2016 season.
"Teddy suffered a complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage," the team said in a statement Tuesday evening after Bridgewater underwent an MRI. "Fortunately, there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage."
All NFL teams had to get down to 75 players on their rosters on Tuesday. Here is a complete compilation of the various moves Dallas made to hit that number. Some significant points: James Hanna is now out for the first six weeks, indicating that his knee issue is fairly significant. And Kellen Moore is now out for the season (which some will see as a positive thing).
There were multiple reports that the Cowboys had other teams contact them about a trade to get Darren McFadden, but Dallas did not hear anything to interest them. Is that a wise move?
Even if McFadden were completely healthy it's unclear what his role would be. Rookie - and No. 4 overall pick - Ezekiel Elliott already looks like a star and is the clear No. 1 to begin the season. Alfred Morris, a former 1,600-yard rusher with the Washington Redskins, has played well in the preseason and makes a more than able backup.
In addition to those two, Darius Jackson, who is also a rookie, has also looked good this preseason - and honestly, who wouldn't look good behind that offensive line?
The logic seems to be having McFadden on the NFI list, which would make him available after six weeks, as a form of insurance for the running game that will be so important to the Cowboys this season.
Sean Lee has not participated fully in practice since the third preseason game.
Lee had an MRI on Monday and coach Jason Garrett said the results were positive. Garrett did not believe it was a long-term issue. Lee played in 18 snaps in the first half against Seattle.
This would seem to be encouraging. However, Garrett and the Cowboys are not the most open and honest sources about how severe injuries really are. Lee's situation bears watching.
Not a bad sentiment for the rookie to have.
This is a video review of Elliott's performance against the Seattle Seahawks, and since it is done by a writer from our sister Seahawks blog, there can be no accusations of homerism.