Riding the Claw

Jerry Jones getting lucky with Dak Prescott (after ignoring the back-up quarterback position for years) reminds me of the time that my sister gave her son a quarter to play the claw machine at a pizza buffet. Instead of learning the appropriate life lesson, which is that the claw machine produces roughly the same return on investment as playing skipping stones with gold bullion, somebody at Futile Crane’s Inventory Replacement Department was startled half to death by a phone call.  So she gave him another quarter, after which the score stood at: Stuffed Animals (2) and Life Lessons (0).   After Jerry’s refusal to come up with a post-Romo plan gave way to the pursuit of two other quarterbacks in this year’s draft, it seems as ridiculous for him to come away with the possible future of the franchise in the fourth round as it was for people to say that Dak Prescott was a better option than a healthy Tony Romo after the Mississippi State product completed ONE touchdown pass.

Tony Romo has racked up more passing yards and fourth quarter comebacks than Roger Staubach or Troy Aikman, and he hasn’t had near the defensive firepower that they did to help him through the playoffs.  He can read defenses and deliver deep balls in ways that Dak simply can’t right now; as poised as the rookie has been, he has definitely overthrown some open receivers and leaned heavily on dink and dunk maneuvers.

Of course, Dak is tied with Warren Moon for second place for the most completions without an interception to start a career. First place is Tom Brady.  And he is only going to get better; the long passes from the preseason and the precision touchdown strikes in the 49ers game give plenty of hope for the future.  Even if the Cowboys were losing games, it would be worth it to tune in every Sunday just to watch him evolve and to start building castles in the air for the next decade that were unimaginable a few months ago.

I don’t think there should be any quarterback controversy. If Tony is healthy and doesn’t look too rusty, he should start.   But they shouldn’t rush him back, as they did last Thanksgiving, when his brief comeback ended in a flurry of interceptions and broken bones that had turkeys all over the country feeling better about their lot in life.  Tony has a tendency to try and do too much before he is ready, but he finally has a backup who always seems to be, well, ready.  I might be wrong about this (I started out the season criticizing the running game, and Ezekiel Elliott now leads the league in rushing), so we will see how Dak fares against more challenging defenses like the Bengals and Eagles.

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