November 26, 3015, Queens, NY Tony Romo was sacked, fell on his already bad shoulder, and had to be taken out of the game for preliminary x-rays. The Panthers won their 11th straight game (and 15th regular season game). Cam Newton continues his stellar play and remains a worthy challenger to Tom Brady in the race for MVP. The defense for the Panthers continues to dominate. But the lead is Tony Romo goes down.
On this Turkey Day, the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Carolina Panthers 33-14. In fact, the season was lost when they lost wide out Dez Bryant and Tony Romo early in the season. But Jerry Jones’ zeal to win and stubbornness (when it came to waving the white flag), compelled both of the stars to come back way too soon. Bryant is a shell of himself, and Romo, who was pounded last week in his return against the Miami Dolphins, appeared to be one good hit away.
Tomorrow, he will get a CT (CAT scan). What was the point in rushing Romo back only to have him re-injure himself and jeopardize his career? The Panthers defense from the outset seemed poised to rough him up, and they were right to do so. As an organization, the Cowboys should have been more protective of Romo. One of the ways that you protect your QB is to pair him in the backfield with a stud. The Cowboys had a stud. Last name Murray. First name DeMarco. They let him go to their rivals from the City of Brotherly Love (who are having their own problems; read “When the Chip is Down” http://puresportsny.com/when-the-chip-is-down/).
The league is set up so that teams can’t win in today’s NFL unless they are strong at the QB position. The rules have been relaxed enough so that quarterbacks, receivers, and the offensive linemen are clearly advantaged (which means the defense is clearly disadvantaged). Romo, when healthy, is an elite quarterback capable of leading a team to capturing the Lombardi Trophy. But Romo is not getting any younger, and the pounding and surgeries will soon catch up to him.
Even if the x-rays come back negative tomorrow, the Cowboys should sit Romo for at least another week, maybe two, maybe for the rest of the season. Up next for the Cowboys is Washington. Then they face the Packers, Jets, Bills, and Washington again. That’s not Murderer’s Row that they’re facing; however, the Cowboys would do well to go 3-2. At 3-2, they would be a 10-loss team.
What would be the point? If Romo doesn’t play another down this season, then his being injured tonight was a blessing. But if they stick him in there on Dec. 7th (or in any of the remaining games), tonight might have been the beginning of the end for Tony Romo.
Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at @cliffordbenton.