If it weren't for a botched hold, the question never arises. If it weren't for a playoff loss to the Giants, or a disappointing end to a 2008 season of great expectations, we aren't having this discussion.
Maybe if Tony Romo wasn't dating Jessica Simpson, hadn't taken the trip to Cabo, or didn't seem to shake off a season ending embarrassment at the hands of the Eagles so easily—it's not even an an issue.
But with the controversy in Denver that has ended in the Broncos putting their franchise quarterback on the trading block, many Cowboy fans have found themselves weighing the pros and cons of trading Tony Romo for Jay Cutler.
Although he has been a savior to a Dallas franchise that struggled for nearly a decade to find a permanent replacement for Troy Aikman, Tony Romo is starting to test the patience of many Cowboy faithful.
I've heard from many die hard Cowboy fans that have said that it only makes sense to deal for a younger, less distracted, Jay Cutler. There is a feeling in Cowboy Nation that Tony Romo has gone "Hollywood" and become less focused since signing his six-year, $67.4 million extension just prior to the 2007 season.
I'm not sure if these claims are authentic, or if Romo has merely become one of many scapegoats that have resulted from two straight disappointing seasons. But as a Cowboy fan myself, I had to give this hypothetical deal some thought.
I don't think that there is much doubt that both of these quarterbacks are well qualified and represent the upper echelon of their position.
Romo was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Cowboys in 2004. By the 11th game of his third season he replaced Drew Bledsoe as the franchise's starting signal caller.
Romo has 39 games under his belt with an overall record of 27-12. He's averaged 271 passing yards and just over 2 touchdown passes in that span. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2007 and helped his team to the playoffs both of those seasons.
Tony Romo has a Brett Favre-ish ability to scramble and create plays when there seemingly are none to be made. He doesn't have prototypical size or a cannon arm, but he possesses the intangibles that make him an exciting playmaker.
Jay Cutler took a much different road to becoming an NFL quarterback. Selected 11th overall in the 2006 draft, Cutler was the Broncos starter by Week 12 of his rookie campaign. At 6'3" and 225 pounds, he has the size and arm strength that all General Managers look for in a franchise quarterback.
Cutler started 37 games for the Broncos in two-plus seasons with a win-loss record of 17-20. He had issues keeping up his weight and energy level early in his career due to undiagnosed Type One diabetes. After getting the disease under control, Cutler bounced back with over 4,500 passing yards to go with 25 touchdowns.
Cutler made his first trip to Honolulu in February.
In my opinion, both of these guys are great quarterbacks with impressive careers in front of them. I was skeptical of Romo in the beginning because this undrafted rookie to Pro Bowl scenario seemed to good to be true.
But after some clutch performances and some rewriting of the Cowboys' record book, I am convinced.
I don't think Romo is a choke artist as some have claimed, but I do have issues with his leadership abilities. Jay Cutler had the gumption to call out his star receiver, Brandon Marshall in regards to the wideouts off the field issues.
It seems Romo never showed the same leadership when Terrell Owens started to become a divisive force in the Cowboy locker room.
This is a tough call. The fact that Cutler is three years younger than Romo makes me think twice. And it doesn't hurt that Cutler seems to have enough of a chip on his shoulder that you have to conclude that the guy hates to lose.
When it's all said and done, I have to say that the Cowboys should not consider trading for Jay Cutler. Jerry Jones seems to be of the same opinion, so the odds are astronomical that this trade ever takes place. Jerry has already stated that the Cowboys are not interested in acquiring Cutler.
The Cowboys have the talent to go all the way. This is not the time for making major moves like starting over at the quarterback position. But this hypothetical is worth an argument or two.
Besides, if it weren't for speculation and what if's, what would we do between the Super Bowl and the draft?