Eatman: With Dak Playing Off The Charts, QB Debate Has To Be Off Table

Nick Eatman is the author of his third book, the recently published *Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Texas, a chronicle of three football teams on three levels in Texas, from high school to college to the Cowboys.  *

PITTSBURGH – There is no more discussion – at least not right now.

People that know me or have followed my coverage of this team for the last decade know exactly how I feel about Tony Romo. He's without a doubt one of my favorite players that I've ever covered, and I think he's one of the more underrated players to have ever played this game.

But you just can't make a change at quarterback right now, regardless of who might be the best player among the two.

That part is somewhat pointless right now. Whether or not Romo gives the team the best chance to win is irrelevant after the Cowboys have now won eight straight games to get to 8-1. The only other quarterback in franchise history to win eight straight is Roger Staubach. Romo has won seven, as did Danny White and some others.

But only Staubach and Dak Prescott have led the Cowboys to this many consecutive victories.

Two or three is a nice run in the NFL. Five or six straight games is very impressive. But if you win eight games in a row, that's something you don't mess with.

I know I might be one of the last to jump over to this side. I'm definitely a Romo supporter and always have been. But the debate is over, in my opinion.

That doesn't mean that Romo never plays again. He might end up getting in this year because as this game just showed us, you never know what's going to happen.

But for right now, at 8-1, the Cowboys simply can't make the move away from Dak Prescott.

[embeddedad0]He didn't even play a great game Sunday in Pittsburgh. In fact, it was looking like one of his worst. For about three quarters, Prescott was looking like a rookie who got bailed out by an 83-yard screen from Ezekiel Elliott.

But like he's done all season long, Prescott just keeps finding a way. As long as he has a chance, Dak is showing us all that he's going to get the job done.

Leading the Cowboys to a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter is quite an accomplishment. How about doing it twice?

No, he didn't score any of the touchdowns, but Prescott drove the bus. Now I'm not calling him a bus-driver by any means, but on those drives, he was in charge. On that final drive, with just 42 seconds to play, he showed no fear.

There was no change in his demeanor at all.

"This kid is amazing," tight end Jason Witten said. "He's got so much poise for a rookie."

And as Dak said in the press conference after the game, he knew where to go with the ball. How about the veteran Jason Witten, who not only made a clutch catch, but kept the pile moving long enough to get a facemask penalty that ultimately won the game.

I know Elliott did the dirty work, but Prescott ran the show, and he did it all game long. Every single time the Cowboys faced some adversity, Dak got them out of trouble.

Back in the first half, he finds Elliott on a screen for a huge touchdown to get the Cowboys back in the game. In the third quarter he lofts a pass to Dez Bryant for a go-ahead score when it appeared the Steelers had grabbed the momentum away.

All week long, I wondered how the Steelers would respond with their backs against the wall. They had lost three games after starting the season 4-1. They were staring a record below .500 in the face and I just didn't know if Ben Roethlisberger and those amazing playmakers could lose at home under those circumstances.

As it turned out, it was the Cowboys and Prescott who performed with their backs against the wall.

I give credit to Roethlisberger for an amazing game, but Dak answered him every time. If this was a prizefight, Prescott's lip was bloodied on the first drive when he lost a fumble that led to a Pittsburgh touchdown. He landed his share of jabs and some haymakers to stay in the fight, even though there were some tough moments, such as taking that third-down sack in the red zone.

Still, he never gave up and when it was time to shine. Dak did just enough – twice – to win the fight. He went toe-to-toe with a future Hall of Famer, and in the end, Dak was the one standing.

For that reason, and about seven others, Prescott needs to remain standing for now. This is no time for him to sit.

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