After seven games of sitting out with a broken collarbone, all of them Dallas Cowboys losses, Tony Romo will be on the field at quarterback for the team in their next game, but any fantasizing about making some sort of miraculous playoff push shouldn’t be considered as realistic.
The Cowboys have lost seven in a row since Romo was injured in the end of the win over the Philadelphia Eagles in week 2. How things have changed since then, when the Cowboys looked like the team to beat not just in the NFC East, but many thought in the entire conference. Brandon Weeden was a quarterback since then. Matt Cassel has taken his place. Dez Bryant came back from injury. Greg Hardy came off suspension. A lot of water under the bridge, but no wins, and hardly any offense.
Romo comes back with the Cowboys reeling from another loss that comes with a crushing blow to it, this time to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Cowboys have lost five of their seven games by seven points or less, and have blown fourth quarter leads a number of times, finding it impossible to finish a game the right way, as every first down they need to achieve seems like the most difficult thing in the world. Things should go more smoothly with Romo, but how smoothly.
Even with assuming that right away we’re going to see the team that went 12-4 last season and beat the Giants and Eagles to start off this season, going 7-0 the rest of the way doesn’t sound plausible. Road games in Miami, Green Bay, Washington and Buffalo, while also playing the Panthers, Jets and Washington at home. That doesn’t sound like a 7-0 schedule, regardless of how good the Cowboys can be.
Too little, too late probably fits this storyline the best. Romo might not be 100% when he comes back as well in terms of his playing ability, even if he’s all healed up from his injury. There’s a room for optimism because scoring touchdowns shouldn’t be so impossibly difficult anymore, but making the playoffs? Let the Cowboys try and get to .500, which seems quite the task on its own.