Counterpoint: Yes, He's A 14-Year Vet, But Romo Needs Preseason Reps

FRISCO, Texas – If Tony Romo were to sit out against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night, his entire preseason could very well comprise a grand total of two series and 11 total snaps from center.

Is that really enough prep time for any quarterback, no matter his age and experience, who played only 226 of 1,019 total offensive snaps last season?

Romo technically started four of 16 games last year but left two games early due to collarbone injuries. That means since the Cowboys' classic playoff game at Green Bay in January 2015, he has played 12 complete quarters in the last 20 months.

Romo's 36 and a 14-year veteran, but the customary "dress rehearsal" game this Thursday at Seattle would provide valuable reps for at least a couple of series. Not just for him. The entire offense got very little game experience with him last year.

[embeddedad0]And if he's active Thursday, Ezekiel Elliott would benefit, too. The Cowboys' rookie running back has yet to play in preseason and he practiced with Romo only three times in Oxnard.

All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith (stinger) is back at practice this week, at least on a limited basis, but if he needs to sit out a third straight preseason game, maybe that impacts how much Romo plays. Even so, he'd still be taking snaps behind an accomplished offensive line.

Yes, the Seattle Seahawks have an outstanding defense. Yes, the Cowboys need to continue evaluating rookie Dak Prescott as the possible No. 2 quarterback.

What's most important, though, is their starting quarterback – the key to this whole offense, as we were reminded so bluntly last season – getting more time to sharpen his skills for the Sept. 11 opener against the Giants.

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