EL PASO, TX
With the signing of Kitna, is Dallas missing a good opportunity to get a look at a possible future young player at QB with some experience for a couple of weeks?
David: I don't think so – not with what's at stake this weekend. A play-in game for the playoffs isn't the time for worrying about the future, it's time for doing whatever is necessary to give yourself a chance. With Kitna, the Cowboys don't have to worry about teaching too much, and they know he can do what they ask him to. You also have to keep in mind the experience factor for games. Obviously the hope is that Tony Romo can play, but if he can't, then the Cowboys are one big hit away from having to replace Kyle Orton with their third-string quarterback. Would you rather that third-stringer be a youngster with no experience or a 16-year veteran?
Rowan: I don't know how much they can look or develop a young free agent or practice squad quarterback in less than a week. I also don't know how many young free agent or practice squad quarterbacks are out there for the taking. It's a really short time for a quarterback to learn a playbook, and they're not going into this week thinking the backup to Kyle Orton's going to play. If he does, they need someone who at least they trust to know what's going on. It makes sense to take someone familiar with the offense. That said, it was definitely a surprise move to grab the 41-year-old teacher.
Do you think Tony's injury could be a blessing in disguise? We'll have to really depend on the run game which is becoming a strength instead of just putting it all on Romo's shoulders and saying go win us a game. And I like what I'm seeing this week especially with Garrett calling out the fans to help out the home team.
David:I get what you're saying, but I don't think it's ever a good thing to take one of your best players off the field. That said, yes I think it could lead to a greater reliance on the run game – which is a great thing, considering the way DeMarco Murray has been playing. Combine the ground game with Orton's arm and experience, and I think the Cowboys should have a chance to win this game. But by taking Romo off the field, you lose that playmaking [embedded_ad] ability. Orton is not going to make an amazing play out of nothing, and I don't think he can put the team on his back and carry the Cowboys to a win if things should start poorly. Basically, I don't think Orton starting would be the end of the world, but I certainly wouldn't prefer it.
Rowan: No. There are so many added variables we don't know when Romo's not on the field. The running game could be a factor of teams respecting the pass, which they may have to do less of without the starter on the field. However, the comment about depending on the run game may have some validity. There's absolutely no excuse in this circumstance not to put the ball in DeMarco Murray's hands and at least see what he can do early on. There are a lot worse options out there than Orton, but losing the starting quarterback on this team is no blessing.