Is It Time for Dallas Cowboys to Consider Replacing Tony Romo?

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IOctober 6, 2012

Oct 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) talks with head coach Jason Garrett during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. The Bears beat the Cowboys 34-18. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

If former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann was running the Dallas Cowboys, quarterback Tony Romo wouldn't be the starter for America's Team much longer. 

After Romo threw five interceptions against the Chicago Bears during a home loss last Monday night, Theismann openly criticized (or attacked?) the Dallas quarterback. Theismann may not be alone in wondering about Romo, either. But let's just kindly say there's a reason why Theismann is slinging quotes and not running an NFL team.

Romo isn't getting replaced as the Cowboys' starter, especially not this season. 

Here's what Theismann said to USA Today, via Sportsnet 590 The Fan:

Sooner or later we have to come to the realization that Tony isn't a very good quarterback. He throws interceptions that you shake your head. If it's all the wide receivers' fault, then maybe he should get some new wide receivers, or they need to come up with some new route combinations that guys can understand.

Theismann wasn't done there. Far from it. Cowboys fans will love this one:

Just because he wears a star on his helmet—we all think that people who are Dallas Cowboys, 'Oh, they're wonderful and, ooh, they're terrific. Ooh, they're the next Roger Staubach' or whatever the heck they want to say—they're full of baloney.

Actually, Theismann still wasn't done. The attack continued:

Tony makes bad decisions with the football. And I'll tell you something else: He missed two wide-open touchdowns last night that nobody's talking about. Forget about the five interceptions—he misses Miles Austin and Dez Bryant with easy touchdown throws, and he air-mails the ball over their heads. You can say, 'well, everybody has a bad game.' Tony has too many bad games. Tony Romo is not a very good quarterback. Somebody has to say it, so I just did. He should be a lot better, or the reputation he's carried should have him play a lot better.

You won't find many takedowns of NFL quarterbacks of this caliber.

How quickly Theismann forgets that he threw five picks in an ugly loss to the Cowboys during Week 1 of his final season in the NFL. But it was a catastrophic leg injury that ended his time as the Redskins' starter, not a coaching decision. 

Romo will (or should) enjoy that same kind of job security. 

Romo admittedly suffered through a poor performance in the Cowboys' embarrassing loss to the Bears. There's no sugarcoating that.

But the idea that the Cowboys should use this one game as a reason to replace Romo is not in touch with reality. In the poll linked earlier in this article, 79 percent of voters said that the Cowboys should consider a replacement for Romo. 

How soon goodwill can be forgotten. 

This is a quarterback who has had a QB rating of better than 90.0 for six straight seasons. This is also a quarterback who threw for 31 touchdowns and more than 4,000 yards last season, then threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns in a Week 1 win this season over the NFL champion New York Giants

But then Romo throws five interceptions, two of which he threw with the Cowboys down big and needing explosive plays, and we're ready to get rid of the guy? 

Now is not the time to even think about a change.

That said, the Cowboys will eventually need to formulate a plan for replacing Romo, preferably with a high draft choice who can sit and learn. Every smart football team needs to prepare for that scenario, especially considering Romo is 32 years old. 

Maybe that time will come after this season, but you can bet that Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett and the rest of the Cowboys staff are not thinking about which quarterback to draft next April to replace Romo. 

And the thought of Kyle Orton starting a game over Romo this season might be borderline crazy. 

For better or worse, the Cowboys are going to live and die this season with Romo. What Theismann thinks is completely irrelevant. But if Romo continues to struggle, this issue can be re-visited this offseason, not now.