The chants were audible if not overwhelming Monday night at AT&T Stadium.
With the Dallas Cowboys rolling to their 13th victory, some of the fans expressed the desire to see a familiar face at quarterback, yelling “We want Romo” and “Tony, Tony Tony.” But that wasn’t to be. Tony Romo remained firmly planted on the bench with Dak Prescott playing in the 42-12 victory over the Detroit Lions.
Even though the Cowboys have a meaningless regular season finale Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, it isn’t likely that Romo gets any playing time then, either.
“We don’t feel like any game we’d get from him stepping out there running some plays, several plays, a series of plays would be worth the risk,” owner Jerry Jones said after the game. “I think we pretty much stay to plan. It wouldn’t surprise me to see us get some of the same snaps.”
Prescott, who tied Ben Roethlisberger for wins by a rookie Monday night, increases his value to the team with every outing, but he is a rookie and it is reasonable to let him continue to gain experience and confidence. “We like the rhythm of our offense,” Coach Jason Garrett said before Monday’s game, “and how Dak is playing.”
Besides, Romo’s history shows that he doesn’t last long. At 36, he has not played in a regular season game since November 2015 and appeared in only four games last season. In three of his last five games (including preseason), he’s gotten injured, so perhaps it’s best to keep him on the bench and hope he is not needed no matter how ready he is to play. If Romo were go to down, Mark Sanchez would be next in line.
“Look at what Dak Prescott learned tonight,” Jones said. “And what’s now in his computer that wasn’t there before tonight….
“With him being a rookie, we really need all these reps he can get, including any reps we get this week and next week, because we want him to be as educated and as well-prepared and have as much as experience as he can when we get in the playoffs.”
That’s the latest from JerryWorld, where the owner has said in the past that giving Romo some reps might be a good idea. With the team’s next meaningful game coming in the middle of January, it doesn’t sound like that is going to happen. Instead, the Cowboys will play it safe Sunday, as safe as possible in the NFL.
“All we need to do is really not try to push . . . any of our players to go beyond the norm relative to play and hurt,” Jones said. “We don’t need to do that in Philadelphia.”