It must be hard to be one of America’s most iconic football teams, but the Dallas Cowboys are no strangers to adversities and obstacles. Throughout the past few years the Cowboys have seen it all: roster changes, bad weather and media noise. However, over and over again, the Cowboys have been able to move forward and overcome all kinds of difficulties. They played well as a team and defended their name admirably.
This time is different. Tony Romo is hurt, badly.
The Cowboys were playing exceptionally well in the first half of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles last week. During a play in the third quarter, the offensive line missed the cover of an Eagles tackle and Tony Romo got sacked. Romo lost the football, and, as usual, players from both teams started to pile up on top of each other over the football to confuse the referee. Just as I was waiting for the referee’s call, the camera turned to Romo. There he was, lying on the field in excruciating pain. When the medical team arrived, they had a hard time helping Romo to get up. That’s how bad it was.
“I felt it, it has a little bit of a pop to it,” Romo said in the post game interview. Later the results came out, and the X-ray confirmed that Romo had fractured his collarbone. In other words, Romo will be off the field for a while, at least half of the season.
Football fans, even non-football fans, know that the quarterback is one of the most important players on a football team. Now that Romo is gone, what’s left for the Cowboys? DeMarco Murray, the star running back for the Cowboys last year, left for the Eagles in the beginning of the season. Following Murray’s departure, wide receiver Dez Bryant injured his foot, which will keep him off the field for at least 6 weeks. All of the famous players on the Cowboys are now gone.
Don’t get upset just yet, though. The Cowboys are called “America’s Team” for a reason.
Brandon Weeden filled in for Romo as the starter quarterback yesterday against the Falcons. People don’t know that much about Weeden yet since he only played a few games last season. His performance, however, wasn’t that impressive at all. He finished last season with a 58 percent completion rate, which is a typical rate for a back up quarterback. What people also don’t know about Weeden is that he has always been a diligent player. He’s been watching over Romo’s shoulder and learning from the sideline for a long time, and now he finally has a chance to prove himself. After Romo’s injury last game, Weeden got on the field and led the Cowboys to victory. He finished game with all seven passes completed. Weeden’s performance will surely determine the Cowboy’s season, and whether they can make it to the playoff this year. He was effective in filling in for Romo against the Eagles and leading the team last week, but now he has to do a lot more than that.
In a situation like this, there are usually two outcomes. The backups either become more confident, cultivate their potential and become starters, or they just blow the game and never get put on the field again. None of this is to say that people should be excited for Romo and Bryant to miss games. The last thing I want to see is Romo getting injured, especially at his age, since he has already suffered terribly from his chronic back injury. However, an injury is an injury, and it requires time to recover and get back on the field. If the Cowboys can stay competitive until their stars return, they still have a shot at the NFC championship. Or, maybe, Brandon Weeden will take them to Super Bowl 50. Who knows?