There is no shortage of quality NFL players looking to get back on the field in 2016 after suffering injuries in 2015.
The list includes Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Packers receiver Jordy Nelson, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, Bengals QB Andy Dalton and Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu, among others.
And, of course, Cowboys fans, Tony Romo.
Without Romo for 12 games, the Cowboys’ playoff dreams after 2015’s no-catch at Green Bay went poof, depreciating from contender to god-awful. At least they used the prime draft positioning of a 4-12 team to get Ohio State star running Ezekiel Elliott.
Now with Romo back, the question is where do the Cowboys fit in the NFC? How much does the 36-year-old mean to Dallas’ chances to contend this season?
Jeffri Chadiha of NFL.com thinks a whole heck of a lot. He compiled a list of the 10 most impactful players returning from injury. At No. 1 is Mr. Romo.
Here’s Chadiha’s reasoning:
“There's a cruel irony in knowing that Romo followed the best season of his career in 2014 with an injury-plagued 2015 campaign. He missed 12 games as a result of two separate collarbone fractures and his absence haunted this team all year. It's fair to say the Cowboys would've run away with the mediocre NFC East had they not been forced to use three different quarterbacks to replace their fallen star. That revolving door of signal callers resulted in Dallas averaging just 17.2 points a game and finishing 4-12. That's why Romo tops this list right now. Bring him back to an offense with highly accomplished pass catchers (Dez Bryant and Jason Witten), an exciting rookie running back (Ezekiel Elliott) and the best offensive line in football, and it's hard to not see the Cowboys returning to the postseason. All Romo has to do is stay healthy.”
That last line is a tricky one. Romo isn’t exactly a spring chicken and he has the collarbone to prove it. Still, there’s reason to believe for Cowboys fans. Prior to last season, Romo played in all but two games in the previous four seasons. So he can stay healthy.
The question is will he? We know Cowboys fans will hold their breath and cross their fingers every time he drops back to pass.