The Cowboys still have to make a decision regarding the future of Tony Romo, and while Romo has stated that he expects to be released, it's not out of the question that Romo could be on the field in a Cowboys uniform to start the 2017 season.
Over the weekend, former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson said that he believes the Cowboys made the right decision sticking with Dak Prescott as the starter, but he backed Romo to "win a lot of games" if he can stay healthy. On Monday's episode of "Undisputed," Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless reacted to Johnson's comments.
Jimmy Johnson: 'Tony healthy can win a lot of games'
Skip: Johnson can have a profound effect on Jones' decisions
“Of all the human beings on this planet, one human can speak words that have the most profound effect on Jerry Jones -- and his name is Jimmy Johnson. And I believe that his continued endorsement of Tony Romo -- and this goes back a ways, because Jimmy has always been a big Romo proponent -- that it will slowly but surely push Jerry over the top into my worst nightmare, which is keeping Tony Romo and re-installing him as the starting quarterback next year for the Dallas Cowboys.
"I want to quickly give you the background of this. Remember, it was Jerry Jones who dared to fire Tom Landry the day he closed the deal on the Dallas Cowboys. He fired Tom Landry so he could bring his ‘good buddy’ from his University of Arkansas teams to coach the Dallas Cowboys from the University of Miami with zero NFL coaching experience. It was as outrageous a move as you’ve ever seen, until of course Jerry fired Jimmy after he had won two straight Super Bowls, after the ’93 season.”
Skip: Jerry Jones wishes he were Jimmy Johnson
“My point is, Jerry always wanted to be Jimmy Johnson. He idolizes Jimmy, maybe to a fault. ... As they began to win in Dallas, he began to cut Jerry Jones to the quick by ridiculing him in front of assistant coaches and front office staffers by insulting his football intelligence. Jerry is most proud of his football intelligence, and he believes that he has as much as Jimmy has. That’s why he uttered the famous quote as they began to win, ‘I could coach the you-know-what out of this team.’
"… After one insult after another, Jerry finally said ‘I’m a man and I’m not going to take this’ … he fires him and hires a guy who had been out of coaching for three years, had never coached a down in the NFL in Barry Switzer. But after that, slowly but surely, I think they made up. They’re not friends, but they are now friendly. And to this day, I know for a fact, that Jerry will savor the words -- will take to heart the words -- of Jimmy as an analyst quicker than any other analyst.”
Skip: Jimmy planted the seed in the regular season
“Remember what Jimmy said on the FOX postgame show after the last regular-season game in Philadelphia? He opened that door a crack because Romo had his little sizzle-reel.”
Shannon: “’I don’t want to start a controversy, but …’”
Skip: “Yeah, remember that? And Romo had been sensational, albeit for one series against what was left of the Philadelphia Eagles. But he did look great, and he looked like the Romo of old instead of an old Romo. And once [Jimmy] re-opened that door, I believe Jerry took it to heart, like, ‘We should do this. We should go back to Romo right now. Silver platter opportunity for us. We could maximize our chances to win the Super Bowl this year if we went back to Tony Romo now.’
"… I believe [Jimmy’s comments] will have an even more profound effect on Jerry to think and think and think about it and will continue to push him over the edge into keeping Tony Romo.”
Shannon: The Cowboys can’t afford to gamble on Romo’s health
“So now all of a sudden Jerry, who fired Jimmy, values Jimmy’s opinion?”
Skip: “He always did. He idolized him. He wanted to be Jimmy, and he wanted Jimmy to love and respect him and Jimmy would have none of the above.”
Shannon: “That man’s worth 5 billion dollars. And he wants to be [validated]?
"…. Here’s the thing when you talk about Tony Romo, and if I’m not mistaken, Jimmy mentioned it three times. He prefaced everything with what? Health. ‘If.’
"The Patriots, ‘if Tom Brady …’ They don’t say ‘if.’ How can I build my team on ‘if'? You can’t. We’re not debating whether Tony Romo can win games because he’s won games. And everybody says. ‘Oh Tony Romo can win a lot of games.’
Have you heard anyone say ‘Tony Romo can win the game.’?”
Shannon: Tony Romo is being mislabeled as ‘great’
“Skip, they need to stop with this. A man that has been in the league -- has been a starter for 12 years -- has been in the league for 14 years. And he’s never been past the divisional round of the playoffs. What makes you think, at 37, brittle and fragile as he is, he’s the guy that can get you over the hump?
"What am I missing? Listen, I understand that I don’t spend thousands and thousands of hours now looking at tape. But I’ve been around the game long enough, I’ve played the game long enough. I just don’t see what everybody else sees in Tony Romo. Everybody throws around ‘great.’ Tony Romo is not a great quarterback. He’s never been a great quarterback. We throw that word around too much.
"Aaron Rodgers is great. Tom Brady is great … stop saying Tony Romo is great. Tony Romo is good, and at times he’s been very good.”
Skip: Jimmy Johnson would have gone back to Romo if he was coaching
“Here’s the point. I believe if Jimmy Johnson had been coaching this year’s Dallas Cowboys that once the playoffs hit he would have gone back to Tony Romo.
Because Jimmy is University of Miami. He’s flash and dash. He wants the spectacular. He wants the capability of having the nuclear firepower of hitting the big touchdown pass to Dez Bryant that he wouldn’t think that Dak - a rookie in his first playoff start - was capable of making.”