Taylor: Don’t be dumb, Cowboys! Put Romo on IR, play McGee
COLUMN By JEAN-JACQUES TAYLOR / The Dallas Morning News
IRVING – Don’t do it Jerry. Don’t even think about it.
Not for a minute. Or an hour. Or a day.
Don’t let your ego compromise this team’s future. Don’t let your pride get in the way of common sense.
There’s not a single good reason for Tony Romo, who’s expected to miss eight weeks with a fractured left collarbone, to play another down this season.
Actually, the Cowboys should put Romo on injured reserve as soon as possible to make sure Jerry doesn’t do something that he’s ultimately going to regret.
Eight losses essentially eliminates the Cowboys from playoff contention. They already have five losses and their next four games are against Jacksonville at home, on the road against Green Bay and the New York Giants and at home against Detroit.
An optimist sees three wins. A realist sees one win; two at the most.
After all, this team was 0-3 at Cowboys Stadium with Romo playing quarterback. As Wade Phillips so eloquently put it, the Cowboys have lost games when they generated five turnovers, when they gained 500 yards, when they held their opponent to 188 yards of offense and when it didn’t allow an offensive touchdown.
There’s no tangible evidence to suggest Jon Kitna will lead this team on a winning streak that will have the Cowboys poised to make the playoffs when Romo is ready to play in the last two games of the season.
Plus, the combination of a struggling offensive line and no running game exposes Jerry’s most important asset to unnecessary harm.
This season is a wrap. Done. Kaput. The fans know it.
The players, deep in their hearts, know it too.
If Jerry’s honest, he knows it. If not, then vice president Stephen Jones needs to sit him down, look him in the eye and force him to accept the reality of the Cowboys’ plight.
This is no time for delusions of grandeur. This is the time for a dose of reality.
These Cowboys aren’t going to win more than five games, if that. And there are going to be some ugly losses as the realization sets in that the season has been an utter embarrassment and some players quit.
Jerry needs to take the top-10 draft pick, perhaps even a top-five selection, that accompanies the disappointment of this wretched season, and use it to fortify a roster badly in need of a talent infusion.
Go get the tackle to pair with Doug Free in the first round. Get a playmaking safety who can cover in the second round. And add a center capable of playing guard in the third round.
As for the rest of this season, it’s time to find out about guys like Stephen McGee.
When the eighth loss occurs, it’s time to see if McGee is capable of being Romo’s backup next season. There should be zero questions about his future when the season ends.
If he can play, great. If not, Jerry should feel free to use one of those premium picks on a developmental quarterback like Philadelphia did when it drafted Kevin Kolb in the second round in 2007, or he should acquire a backup who’s not eligible for AARP membership.
As the season heads into November and December, give linebacker Sean Lee, nose tackle Josh Brent, defensive end Stephen Bowen, tight end Martellus Bennett , receiver Dez Bryant , guard Phil Costa, tackle Sam Young and safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah more playing time.
This season is a disaster, but something good can be salvaged.
To do so requires Jerry to deal with the reality of this lost season to ensure it doesn’t happen again next season – no matter who’s coaching the Cowboys.