Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

With Prescott's Cowboys Winning, Few Clamor for Romo's Return

At the top of the quarterback categories this season, right around Tom Brady and Matt Ryan and Andy Dalton, there is a name that would have been unfamiliar to most pro football fans a year ago: Dak Prescott.

A fourth-round pick out of Mississippi State, Prescott was pressed into service by the Dallas Cowboys in his rookie season after Tony Romo suffered a compression fracture in his back in the exhibition season. It seemed like a blow to the Cowboys' hopes, and fans began counting the days till Romo's hoped-for midseason return.

But it turns out, Prescott can play some football.

After losing the opener to the New York Giants by a point, Prescott and the Cowboys have run off six straight wins and taken a two-game lead at the top of the NFC East.

Prescott ranks third among the current starting quarterbacks in adjusted yards per pass, behind only Brady and Ryan. Only the Raiders' Derek Carr and Trevor Siemian of the reigning Super Bowl champion Broncos can match his six wins. Prescott's nine touchdown passes already ties the Cowboys' rookie record, set by Troy Aikman in 11 games in 1989.

Playing against a strong Philadelphia Eagles defense Sunday night, Prescott struggled with the blitz at first but kept his team in the game, rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, and won in overtime with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten.

But now Romo is just about ready to come back, having returned to practice last week, giving the Cowboys a classic quarterback problem.

Romo's talents have been in dispute among football fans for years. Although his numbers have almost always been solid, he has been criticized for failing to take Dallas to the next level. Since he took over as a starter in 2006, the Cowboys have made the playoffs only four times, with a record there of 2-4. Numerous 8-8 and 9-7 seasons could be viewed as consistency, or mediocrity

Injuries have also been a concern. Romo had perhaps his best season in 2014, making his fourth Pro Bowl, but then missed most of 2015 with a broken collarbone. His latest injury, and his age, 36, have some thinking that he is at the end of the line.

The team has announced Prescott will start next Sunday, giving him a good opportunity to increase his statistics against the woeful Cleveland Browns. But after that, it is unclear.

Teams generally do not like to take away a player's job just because of injury. But after the Eagles game, more and more are convinced that it would be foolish to sit Prescott now.

The Washington Post: "It would be football malpractice at this point for the Cowboys to even consider going back to Romo."

Bleacher Report: "So long, Tony Romo." "This team belongs to Prescott now."

The Ringer: "Right now, it feels like a Romo-led team would be headed to brave moral victory in the second round of the playoffs, and like a Prescott-led team could do anything."

In 1996, the Cowboys had won three of the previous four Super Bowls. Barry Switzer was the coach. Since then, they haven't been the Browns, but they also haven't been the storied franchise that chased championships nearly every year. Forgive Dallas fans for seeing visions of Meredith, Aikman and Staubach in the young Prescott.

With Prescott's Cowboys Winning, Few Clamor for Romo's Return 11/01/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 12:46am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jameis Winston held his pro day at Florida State's indoor practice facility. His pro team will be getting one soon.
  2. Rays series preview: Who are the Pirates?


    After an off day Monday, the Rays head on the road to PNC Park for a three-game interleague series against the Pirates. Here's the information you need to know about Pittsburgh before the action kicks off.

    Record: 35-41, fourth in NL Central

    Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, left, has rebounded from a rough start, while fellow outfielder Gregory Polanco, right, has fallen off recently.
  3. Countryside alum A.J. Andrews lands in ESPN's annual body issue (w/video)


    A.J. Andrews has taken over the spotlight in softball. Last year, the former Countryside High and LSU standout became the first female to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award's 59-year existence.

    Former Countryside and LSU softball standout A.J. Andrews will be among 23 athletes to be featured in ESPN The Magazine's body issue. "I have a really ripped back," Andrews says while laughing in the video. [Photo from video]

  4. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  5. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport