Following Sunday night’s
“Tony’s not ready to play,” Jones told reporters after the win. “That’s subject to Jason Garrett making the decision, but as far as the health issue is concerned for Tony, there’s no need of pushing it that fast. And that’s more about Tony, his health, than it is about any of the other issues we’ll have here.”
Romo returned to practice in
“Certainly, Tony’s making a lot of progress,” added Jones. “We’re excited about that, but at this particular time I don’t have more to clarify: My opinion is that Dak will start against Cleveland.”
So much for that combined call.
Through three and a half quarters on Sunday night, it sure seemed like the QB1 momentum was swinging Romo’s way. Prescott was just 6-of-19 for 140 yards and an interception, and the Cowboys were trailing the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles, 23-16, when Dallas took over with 6:26 left.
Then, Prescott put on his big-boy pants, completing 6-of-9 passes on his next drive for 90 yards and the game-tying score. On their opening drive in overtime, the rookie QB finished a perfect 7-of-7 for another 57 yards and the winning touchdown — a five-yard scrambling strike to Jason Witten.
“Dak had his challenges, but when it really mattered — and not that the total game didn’t matter — he came through,” said Jones, whose team moved to an NFC-best 6-1. “He doesn’t know the word quit.”
Still, if ever there was a time to ease Romo’s transition back into the mix, this week would be it, with a game against the winless Browns on the docket. Following Sunday’s game in Cleveland, the Cowboys have what are sure to be physical games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, before sandwiching NFC East battles with the Washington Redskins and New York Giants around a tilt opposite the Minnesota Vikings that could potentially decide the No. 1 seed in the conference.
Given Romo’s history as a four-time Pro Bowler and the 36-year-old quarterback’s relationship with high-ranking members of the organization, benching him for Prescott will be no easy decision. Although, Prescott’s play, including a quarterback rating (99.6) that currently sits seventh in the NFL, is making it a whole lot easier. And it sure sounds like Jones has his doubts about Romo’s future.
“Does it look like he’s at a stage in his career where he’s fragile, and more fragile than he’s been?” the owner told the media,
So, at the very least, Jones won’t know after next week, either, and if Prescott keeps steering Dallas toward Super Bowl contention, we may never know. That won’t stop the question from being asked.
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