Sullivan: Stop The QB Drama And Enjoy The Ride

Some of the thoughts that run through an oversized, bald head:

  • We absolutely adore drama. Be it movies, soap operas, reality television, tabloid journalism, politics, sports or relationships, drama sells. Drama is what seems to fuel us as a society whether we want to admit it or not. We've seen it the last couple months with the quarterback situation.

Instead of being wildly delirious with this out-of-nowhere start to the season, the majority of the talk has been about Dak Prescott and Tony Romo. I'm to blame myself, having written several columns on the topic. Who cares who the quarterback is or isn't, the team is winning, enjoy. It's one of those fake stresses, like this person at work doesn't like me, or my kid isn't playing more because the coach doesn't like his red hair, all that. Who cares? Do your job, work harder, stop complaining.

  • Seriously, what's the issue either way? The Cowboys have a top-notch starting quarterback and an absurdly overqualified backup. It's the perfect scenario, every NFL team's dream. Instead, we've made it into a contest, filled with drama. Have to pick a side.

And in this mindset, every moment in time is absolute. As in, Dak Prescott has been named the starter and Tony Romo is finished. Romo will never, ever again play for the Cowboys, bedtime, this is so sad how it all played out. Whoa there, slow down.

  • Since the start of the 2014 season, as in not that long ago, only eight quarterbacks haven't missed a start, or 25 percent. The other 24 teams have started at least two, and I believe the Browns have started 87, this despite just playing 42 games over that stretch.
  • Let's take the Cowboys, going back to 1980, so the last 26 seasons, not including this one. In only 11 of them, the starting quarterback took the snaps all 16 games. Pretty sure Rowdy was the backup the last few weeks just last season. Injuries happen, concussions happen. Obviously no one wants this for Prescott, just saying that there's probably, statistically-speaking, about a 50 percent chance that Romo has to come in and take some snaps at some point this season, be it regular season or playoffs.
  • Sure most non-Patriot fans forget this, but in that famous 2001 campaign in which this all played out similar, with Tom Brady taking Drew Bledsoe's job, the latter entered the AFC Championship Game in the second quarter at Pittsburgh after Brady twisted his ankle. With Bledsoe at the helm, he threw a touchdown pass shortly before halftime and the Pats won the game, 24-17. Brady was then healthy enough to start the Super Bowl.
  • That was one of the more impressive, stunning speeches I've ever heard. No one was expecting that, like no one. Also, Romo wrote it. Lot of folks assumed he had help from the team or whoever else, but by all accounts, Romo wrote every single word. And as the jokes have been going around the last few days, he's a better writer than many of us doing it for a living. Some big-point Scrabble words, too, highlighted by meritocracy.
  • Everyone assumes I love playing Scrabble and Words With Friends. I detest both. Played the latter like twice and wanted to throw my phone into an inferno.
  • Did a book signing with Charles Haley earlier this week for his new autobiography that we collaborated on, Fear No Evil: Tackling Quarterbacks and Demons on My Way to the Hall of Fame, and a guy showed up with a T-shirt that read: When The Boogeyman Goes To Sleep He Checks The Closet For Charles Haley.
  • What I'm about to write is my opinion, but it's also partly based on talking with a few dozen people on and around the team the last five or six months. I honestly believe that Greg Hardy had a more negative impact on the team last season than the quarterback situation did. If Romo had played all 16 games, I'm not sure they would have won more than eight or nine.
  • Spoke with Ezekiel Elliott yesterday for about 20 minutes, just us, for an upcoming *Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine *feature. Came away quite impressed, really bright young man. Didn't realize this until the other day but he's the youngest offensive player in the NFL. How mind-boggling is that? Could become the youngest league MVP ever, breaking a 59-year-old record set by Jim Brown in 1957.

Anytime you are being mentioned in the same sentence as Jim Brown, that's the highest of football royalty. Those players, coaches, media, fans from that era, they will sit around arguing for hours about the greatest quarterback, the greatest wide receiver, the greatest defensive player, but they will not for a second discuss or debate the ball carrier. That's Jim Brown. Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, all those great backs, they all said Brown was the best and greatest, undisputed champ. I'm not about to argue.

  • Hearing Dez Bryant and DeMarcus Lawrence break down the difference between a city fumble and a country fumble in the locker room Thursday was among my more enjoyable moments around the team these last eight years. Dez was as engaged and happy as I've ever seen him. Think he's about to breakout in a big way, like five or six 100-yard games down the stretch, maybe a touchdown catch per outing, too. He's ready, physically and mentally, for this moment.
  • The media folks and fandom can debate until all the mosquitos are circumcised about how much credit Jerry Jones deserves for this recent draft and ridiculous homegrown talent currently taking the field. Here's what can't be debated: Jones stuck with Jason Garrett when a lot of owners, and certainly every fan with a Twitter handle, would have fired him, be it after 2012, 2013 or even last year.

The players have so bought into Garrett's philosophy that Lawrence quoted him three times in the 15 minutes when I spoke with him Thursday. I haven't had a conversation with Jason Witten in four years when he hasn't given me a Garrett-ism or three. There's a real chance, like better than 50-50, that by season's end the only two head coaches with multiple 12-win campaigns the last three years will be Bill Belichick and Garrett.

CRYSTAL BALL: Never, ever mess with a win streak. Same practice clothes, same routine, same pregame meal and, yes sir, I've picked them the last seven wins. Not changing now. No way, no how. The Ravens are one of those teams headed for 8-8 no matter how this plays out; that's their destiny. As for the Cowboys, there is no ceiling, the ride continues, Zeke runs wild and Dak plays like he's been here before, as in 10 years of NFL experience. Cowboys win, 26-16.

Check out Jeff Sullivan's column each week in *Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine. Find out more at DallasCowboys.com/star. You can also follow Jeff on Twitter, @SullyBaldHead, or email him at jsullivan@dallascowboys.net.*

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