Unless an injury or some unlikely fall out of form takes place, Dak Prescott will remain the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback through the rest of the 2016 NFL season while Tony Romo will serve as his backup.
Maybe the decision was made before Prescott’s performance against the Steelers, throwing for 319 yards and two touchdowns passes. It was his first 300-yard game, posting a 121.7 passer rating, his 7th game this season with a passer rating of 100 or higher. His numbers got a boost thanks to the incredible 83-yard run by Ezekiel Elliott off of a screen pass, but Prescott has been playing smart, patient and calm football all season long, completing 66.8% of his passes, averaging 8.35 yards per attempt and throwing just two interceptions to his 14 touchdown passes, resulting in a 106.2 passer rating.
Romo? He’ll be in uniform for the next game against the Baltimore Ravens, but he’ll be the backup. Rumors suggest the Cowboys have informed Romo that unless something changes, he’s the #2 guy on the depth chart, and that he took the news hard. However, Romo does seem happy to see Prescott do well, and this doesn’t look like a Brett Favre-Aaron Rodgers situation, where the two pretty openly hated each other. Romo is helping Prescott, but would obviously like to be back on the field as soon as possible.
The Cowboys have their first 8-game winning streak since the 1977 season, when they opened the season 8-0. They ended up winning the Super Bowl that year, but many seem to think that this current team looks a lot like the Cowboys from 2007 that went 13-3 and lost in the first playoff game, or even the 2004 Steelers with a rookie Ben Roethlisberger. They had the best record in the regular season, like the Cowboys, but lost to the New England Patriots in the playoffs. I’m one of those who thinks that despite the win, the Cowboys aren’t the best team in the NFC, probably sitting behind the Seattle Seahawks in the power rankings.
And with that in mind, Romo is probably still the more reliable passer, especially when it comes to deep throws. Prescott has a strong arm, but not a very accurate one at this stage of his career when it comes to making deep throws. However, the Cowboys have built an offensive scheme that fits his strengths and hides his weaknesses perfectly, with a lot of receivers who can do a great job on short routes, while home run kind of guys in both Elliott and Dez Bryant. And the offensive line has been praised so many times it’s getting a little bit old, but just watching that unit walk all over the Steelers defense in the fourth quarter to open up lanes for Elliott once again demonstrated what it’s like being quarterback or running back for the Cowboys. It’s certainly a good thing.
This doesn’t seem like the same situation from last year in Denver. This isn’t Peyton Manning simply waiting for Brock Osweiler to show just a bit of weakness and pounce on the job. Prescott has his teeth sunk in the position, and the Cowboys are following him without a problem. Their defense isn’t carrying them, Prescott along with everything around him is. Maybe it’s a bit unlucky or unfair towards Romo, but he probably remembers how he became the Cowboys starting quarterback 10 years ago, and knows that it’s life in the NFL, nothing personal.