FRISCO, Texas – It was always likely the Cowboys were going to lose another game before the season ended. Therefore, it was always likely the quarterback discussion would crop up once again before all was said and done.
Following the Cowboys' 10-7 loss to the Giants on Sunday night, that's exactly what appears to be happening. As fans and media react to Dak Prescott's 165-yard, two-interception effort in New York, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones was asked Tuesday what it might take to see Tony Romo return to the starting lineup.
"I don't have a definition for it, but you'll know it when you see it," Jones told 105.3 FM The Fan. "It's kind of like a definition I heard one time of another issue, trying to define a negative topic, and they said, 'I don't know how to say it, but it's just something that when you see it, you know it's there.' We'll see it."
That's an ambiguous answer to an ambiguous topic – which is par for the course for this entire situation, dating all the way back to September. There's no guidebook for weighing the performance of a rookie phenom against a veteran Pro Bowler.
That's probably why Jones was asked for some clarification on the matter. Would it be safe to assume that Romo would only supplant Prescott in the lineup in the event of serious injury or a continued stretch of severely poor performance?
"You don't want either of those to occur. And, so, they're unmentionables. But it will be pretty obvious," he said.
Both Jones and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett have been vocally supportive of Prescott in the time since the loss to New York. Garrett was sure to emphasize on Monday that the Cowboys had no intention of changing their starting quarterback.
"You can make it as simple or complex as you want to make it. It's pretty simple for us: Dak's going to play quarterback as we go forward," Garrett said.
That's a perfectly rational line of thinking, given the way the season has gone to this point. Even with bad performances against Minnesota and New York, Prescott has completed 65.8 percent of his passes this season for 3,139 yards and 20 touchdowns with just four interceptions.
His passer rating for the season sits at 102.7. And obviously, there's the 11-2 record to consider.
"I think we can make the adjustments and put Dak in positions," Jones said. "He's got the skill level to make those longer plays."
Again, it's not surprising to hear the vote of confidence, considering Sunday was the Cowboys' first setback in three months. Harsh as it might be, though, Sunday served as a reminder of the unique situation this team sits in with two capable quarterbacks.