Nobody runs a quarterback keeper quite like
When he gets a starting quarterback job, he keeps it.
It happened at Haughton (La.) High School, after starter Matt Smith suffered a broken finger on his throwing hand.
It happened at Mississippi State, after starter Tyler Russell sustained a concussion in the 2013 opener.
And now, as a
At 4-1, the Cowboys already have matched last season’s win total. They play at Green Bay on Sunday, and Prescott, a fourth-round draft pick, will be in the spotlight. With Romo on the mend and expected to be ready to return early next month, Prescott has completed 69% of his passes for 1,239 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. In throwing his first 155 passes without a pick, Prescott has set an
Suddenly, the Cowboys have the high-class problem of too many good quarterbacks. The team that was lost at sea without the injured Romo last season is now confronting what this summer would have been unthinkable: The fixture or the future?
“I still think Dallas is going to go back to Romo, but I think they’ve got to be smart about how they handle this,” said Hall of Fame quarterback
Not surprisingly, the Cowboys are downplaying the decision, choosing instead to relish the solid start and focus on the present.
“Oh man, nobody is worrying about none of that stuff,” receiver
At some point, though, the Cowboys will need to make a choice. Romo had an MRI exam Monday that showed the compression fracture in his back had healed. He has begun conditioning work, and this week threw to
Prescott understands the big picture. He knows that the richly experienced Romo is 78-49 as a starter and should be ready for the Nov. 6 game at Cleveland. The rookie knows he'll most likely be asked to step aside.
"This is Tony's team," he told reporters. "I knew that going into the situation. I think everybody knew that. I'm just trying to do the best I can to give my team a chance to win week in and week out."
Before the draft, coach-turned-analyst Rick Neuheisel compared Prescott to Seattle’s
In his first year with the
Now, Prescott has the league's No. 1 rushing game, led by fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott has run 19 times for 63 yards and three touchdowns. That ability to move the ball on the ground makes defenses play the Cowboys honest, typically bringing another defender up close to the line of scrimmage and leaving a single-high safety to play center fielder. That makes it easier for Prescott to find passing lanes.
"Single-high defense creates the most air for a pass offense," Neuheisel said. "It's the easiest pass defense for a quarterback. That's why the NFL disguises so much. They don't want you to ever know it's single-high."
Prescott already has the rookie record for most passes without an interception, and he's eight away from breaking the record of New England's Tom Brady, who moved into the starting lineup during his second season and opened with 162 passes without an interception.
The Prescott-Brady connection is fitting, because it was 15 years ago that Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe and thereby launched his legendary career.
Could Prescott-Romo be the next such example?
"All coaches say, 'We're going to do what's best for the team, and all we care about is winning,'" Aikman said. "If you're winning and you're making lineup changes when a guy's playing great, to me that's a hard thing to sell."