Could Tony Romo Realistically Be Benched This Season?

Nick KostoraContributor IIIOctober 29, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 21:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Is it possible to contemplate benching a QB after he throws for the most yards in his career?

That is just the question facing the Dallas Cowboys in the wake of a devastating 29-24 loss to the New York Giants. QB Tony Romo threw for 437 yards, but only after struggling miserably to start the contest.

The Cowboys did show signs of life as the game wore on, overcoming a 23-point first half deficit and rallying around Romo as he righted all his wrongs from early in the first half. 

The problem is that those wrongs are not an isolated incident. Romo's three interceptions on the team's first four drives and four total picks bring his season total to 13. Romo has been inconsistent all year, his play ranging anywhere from pathetic to superb.

Dallas currently has a 3-4 record and fading hopes at winning either the NFC East division or making a playoff run. Those fleeting hopes seemed to be dashed as Dez Bryant landed ever so slightly out of bounds on Sunday's final play.

So, is it time to move on from Romo?

It's a question that has been asked many times over the course of his seven year career, but with a quality backup in Kyle Orton the answer of "no" does not seem so readily correct anymore.

Orton has thrown for 3,000 yards twice in his career and looked to be developing nicely as the Denver Broncos starter in 2009-10.

However, if bad decisions and turnovers are the greatest knock on Romo, isn't turning to Orton only going to be a lateral move for the Cowboys?

Orton has thrown for at least 12 interceptions three times in his career. His completion percentage is a full six points lower than Romo's, and he is remarkably immobile in the pocket.

Yes, Romo often makes head-scratching throws that make you wonder if he is actually aiming for the other colored jerseys. But he is still the best QB for the Cowboys right now.

Fans have every right to boo Romo, Owner Jerry Jones and Head Coach Jason Garrett when Dallas goes down 23-0 at home. However, to suggest that Orton is the QB that belongs on the field is incredibly ignorant.

Romo has just begun building chemistry with Bryant, he is coming off a game in which he found TE Jason Witten 18 times and he has had three games of at least 300 yards passing this season.

There are undoubtedly big problems in Dallas. The offense is inconsistent and the team often looks unmotivated and uninspired, but if the Cowboys have any hope of competing in the NFC East this season, Romo must be under-center.

That may not be an exciting or popular proposition, but he is still the right guy to sit atop the Cowboys depth chart.