Start a Cowboys quarterback controversy?
How dare you!
Rookie Dak Prescott has already taken care of that.
It’s in the DNA of every Dallas Cowboys fan. Some NFL fans are born to wear bags on their heads. Cowboys fans always worry about their quarterback.
Don Meredith had Craig Morton standing over his shoulder. Morton had Roger Staubach. Danny White had to quarterback in the shadow of Gary Hogeboom.
And in his first year, even Troy Aikman had to deal with ex-Miami assistant coaches who favored Steve Walsh.
So the media doesn’t ever have to plant the seeds of a Cowboys quarterback controversy. They just grow, like crabgrass.
The feeling here was that Tony Romo would start and play at least one offensive series Saturday night against the Los Angeles Rams. But Romo never left the sideline.
Prescott started and the more he played, the better he looked. And at that point, the last thing coach Jason Garrett needed was to put Romo in for a series and run the risk of a drive moving in reverse.
“I thought he played with poise and composure in every aspect of it,” Garrett said of Prescott. “You saw it in his eyes in warmups. In no way did the game seem too big for him.”
Some guys never see the forest for the NFL trees. Even Terry Bradshaw admits he was already into his pro career when one day during film study, the clouds suddenly parted — and he finally understood how to read NFL defenses.
Prescott never showed that deer-in-the-headlights rookie look. Though the Rams’ defense talked later about keeping its coverages fairly vanilla, Prescott kept looking and waiting for an open receiver.
Next time he plays, no doubt, Prescott will see the defense try to confuse him more. But in the meantime, 10 of 12 passing (two throws were dropped) for 139 yards and a 154.5 quarterback rating is about as good an August night as it gets.
He will have to do it again, of course, and again and again, before Prescott proves that he’s a union card-eligible NFL quarterback. But admit it, you were impressed. I was impressed. Dez Bryant was impressed.
As Bryant said, “He was running the show. He was leading. It was his huddle. He didn’t play like a rookie. His mindset was not like a rookie. It was like he had been there before. Kudos to Dak.”
The Cowboys already have a No. 1 quarterback, of course. But Romo is 13 years older than Prescott.
Prescott played in the Southeastern Conference. Romo couldn’t get past the first round of the I-AA playoffs at Eastern Illinois.
Romo does, however, lead Prescott in broken clavicles (two in 2015) and surgeries in successive seasons 3-0.
Even through the acute clarity of a 12-pack of Miller Lite, Cowboys fans know that they are going to need a backup quarterback at some point this season. When doctors are opening up your quarterback’s shoulder in March and removing bones, just to keep somebody from breaking them, you know the injury risk remains high.
Fortunately, Owner Jones dragged his feet and didn’t move to acquire an official veteran backup at the position. A mediocre stand-in at quarterback can kill your season — wasn’t that the lesson of 2015?
If Romo is injured again, is there really anybody out there in NFL quarterback limbo who can still lead the Cowboys to the Super Bowl?
I don’t think so, either. So why not try the new guy?
Instead of the Jones family comparing ragtag replacements, why not escalate Prescott’s preparation for the Sunday when he eventually plays?
Play him a lot this summer, in other words. Or you’ll hear from the fans the first time Romo has a bad game during the regular season.
It’s in their DNA.