IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have yet to place Tony Romo on injured reserve. On Friday, owner Jerry Jones was rather candid in the reasoning.
The Cowboys are long shots to get into the playoffs, considering they haven't won a game without Romo this year and likely need to win four, if not all five remaining games to win the NFC East.
But if that happens with Matt Cassel at quarterback, Jones said on his weekly radio show on 105.3 The Fan that he wouldn't hesitate going back to Romo.
"Let's just put it like this, we didn't deactivate Tony for a reason, and that is if we should get to the playoffs, then he would be available for us in the playoffs," Jones said. "I'm speaking for myself. Jason Garrett, of course, would be the ultimate decision-maker, but one of the reasons we thought using a roster spot is so that he could be available for the playoffs."
And with that scenario, it would mean Cassel would've led the Cowboys to a rather hot finish down the stretch. But still, Jones didn't budge.
"Well, I think if Tony can play, he'd be the starting quarterback, without question," Jones said.
The Cowboys were faced with a similar scenario 24 years ago when a young Troy Aikman was knocked out of game in Washington. Veteran backup Steve Beuerlein not only came in and helped Dallas to a stunning upset over previously undefeated and eventual Super Bowl champion Washington, but led the Cowboys to five straight wins. The Cowboys went from 6-5 to 11-5, made the playoffs and won a wild card game over the Bears.[embeddedad0]
And in the divisional round the following week at Detroit, Aikman was cleared to return, but the Cowboys stuck with Beuerlein for a half. Aikman came in, but didn't fare much better as Dallas lost, 38-6.
"But in the playoffs, with Beuerlein, how did we do?" Jones fired back when asked why not stick with a veteran, before shifting back to Romo in this hypothetical situation. "So you got Tony Romo sitting here as one of the premier quarterbacks, you can say rusty, but still. If he mirrors last time and we do get to that point – now this isn't a given; we're going to play this thing as we go – as you get down and wind down near the end of his rehab time, he'll be throwing, he'll be ready. So if you think he can play a game like he did against Miami would you go with him? Yes, you would. I'll answer that for you."
Now, all the Cowboys and the remaining 52 players need to do is get on a winning streak so that scenario can be played out.