Anyone who watched the anguish on Tony Romo's face earlier this season when he announced that he would accept being Dak Prescott's backup knows that the Dallas Cowboys quarterback wants to be a starter in the NFL once more. Yet Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thinks that if he asks nicely enough, Romo would consider coming back to Dallas next season.
On the other hand, Jones readily admits that Romo is “dying inside,” which doesn't exactly sound conducive to riding the bench with the Cowboys.
“I do,” he said. “I think if I ask Tony to go with us on that and let's try to win a championship, I think, yes, he will.”
Romo, unlike Bledsoe 15 years ago, is not complaining. “Tony is investing in his teammates,” Jones said. “Everybody understands while he's excited to be part of the team and he's excited for the team, that he's dying inside not to be out there competing. I underline the words dying inside. There are plenty of examples where high profile quarterbacks didn't go down gracefully and step off the field gracefully. Lots of examples of it. It's just hard for that kind for competitor to do that.”
The thing is, in Jerry's world, Romo's 2017 return would be one small part of a larger storybook narrative that has the 13-year veteran making an appearance sometime this season to help the Cowboys to a Super Bowl LI win:
“I think Romo is going to get his opportunity,” Jones said. “I don't want it to happen. But I think he may get his opportunity to get us a Super Bowl. While that's a mixed bag when I think about it — that means you don't have Dak out there — but it means, what a story, one for the ages, if he'd step in there and this year help us win a Super Bowl on the field with his skill. That can happen here. We're not talking about a bus driver out there. We're talking about a guy who can go out there and move our team.”
That's a rather odd premonition for the owner of an NFL franchise to share. “Hey, folks,” — and I'm paraphrasing here, of course — “you know our stellar rookie quarterback that we all love? I have a vision that he gets sidelined for some reason, and Romo comes back to lead us to victory, reopening the conversation on a potential controversy. Don't worry, though; that one game will be enough to sate Romo's desire to play, and he'll come back to us next season to stay on the bench just in case.”
In fact, Jones acknowledges that while the Cowboys might make better use of their cap space than keeping two starting QBs on the roster, he'd prefer to go the “unorthodox” route, even if it means missing out on an elite pass rusher.
Then again, when you're one of the driving forces behind, say, the Rams returning to Los Angeles, why wouldn't you believe that anything you desire can become reality? Good luck, Jerry. I can't wait to see how this one plays out.