The Dallas Cowboys recently fell to the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football and the performance by quarterback Tony Romo brought up an increasingly common question—is 2012 Romo's last year with the Dallas Cowboys?
Romo was horrific against the Bears, throwing 307 yards with one touchdown and a ridiculous five interceptions. He was the biggest reason the Cowboys lost under the national spotlight.
The performance by Romo dragged his numbers deeper into the realm of mediocrity for the 2012 season. For the season, Romo has thrown for 1,148 yards, five touchdowns and eight interceptions—not exactly a spectacular line for a quarterback who threw for over 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns a year ago.
For Romo, there really are not many excuses. He has outstanding offensive weapons around him such as receivers Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, as well as running back DeMarco Murray. The Bears also do not tout the most impressive pass defense in the league.
Romo's receivers struggled, but his horrible decisions with the football did not exactly put his team in a great position to begin with.
To add to Romo's problems, he is already 32 years old. Owner Jerry Jones may not be publicly saying it, but he is likely on the lookout for a replacement based on age alone.
The 2013 NFL draft would be an ideal time to add a quarterback to the roster, regardless of how the rest of the season plays out. Letting a rookie learn from Romo for a year or more, or simply having him replace Romo both seem like realistic options after the 2012 season.
None of this is to say Romo has been horrible over the last few seasons. Romo simply has a horrendous habit of turning the ball over late in games and killing Dallas' chances to remain competitive.
The Cowboys have made the postseason four times in Romo's seven years as starter, but have won only a single game.
His inability to find postseason success after outstanding regular seasons is yet another knock on Romo's case for being in Dallas past 2012.
It would be unwise to write Romo off completely for one performance, especially considering he is coming off a season in which he was one of the best in the league. It is realistic, however, to say that Romo's time is running out in Dallas.
We may be witnessing a natural regression on Romo's part, or simply a slow start to the season. Regardless, he is approaching an age where the organization has to start thinking about the future, and his play of late is not exactly easing the front office's mind.
Romo's time is slowly running out in Dallas before our eyes. How much time he has remaining has yet to be seen.