The Future is Now: A Pair of Rookie QB’s are Changing the Game for their Teams
Here are three big takeaways from this past weekend in sports. Two for the future and one that should be left in the past.
First, the future is NOW for Dallas Cowboys rookie QB, Dak Prescott. From Prescott’s first appearance in the preseason…it’s been clear to me that he is a better QB than Tony Romo. Romo’s impressive stats and numbers from his career are what they are…including his age of 36. Prescott should aspire to achieve the career numbers of Romo. Well, not all of his numbers; Romo has no championships to his credit. And playing qb is all about winning championships. Romo’s career numbers top those of former Cowboys greats, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. But those guys won championships. There’s no question Romo would like to trade numbers for rings.
Long ago, I remember former Cowboys coach Tom Landry saying: veteran players don’t lose their ability, they just lose the ability to play week-in and week-out at the same level. This is the problem with Tony Romo. IF and WHEN Romo is healthy, he’s a good player. At least I think so…he hasn’t played much in a long time. And even the greatest of all players need to play to stay sharp.
Reports out of Cowboys headquarters is that Romo is playing catch now and coming along in his recovery. There’s still no timetable set for his return. Speculation has the timeframe anywhere from 3-6 weeks from now. There are some in the media who predict Romo will return to his starting role. I think owner Jerry Jones has suggested this, too. However, some predict that if the Cowboys are winning that Prescott will continue to play. For me, I don’t care if they are winning or not…Romo’s days are numbered and Prescott’s aren’t. Prescott has proven he’s got the “it” factor. Whatever “it” is…he’s got it.
Romo’s role should be that of a backup. If and when Prescott needs help, bring Romo in to “save the day”. In 2015, the Denver Bronco’s had a very similar situation. Hall of Famer Peyton Manning was banged up in the middle of the season and the team turned to highly talented backup, Brock Osweiler. Osweiler managed the ship going 5-2 and got the Bronco’s ready for the playoffs. Manning returned at the end of the season to lead the team to a Super Bowl win.
Romo could a similar role. Further, it’s too risky to go back to Romo. The guy can’t stay healthy. The Cowboys have a chance to win the NFC East and they need stability at the qb position. Dak Prescott has the teams confidence and trust. Prescott has shown poise and control from day one!
I know the Cowboys gave Romo a ton of money and really needed him to come through. Unfortunately, he has not…fortunately for Jerry Jones, Prescott has.
Number two: there’s another rookie QB who’s playing like a veteran superstar, too. Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz is playing so well, his jersey sales have soared to the top of the list!
On Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears, Wentz took the Eagles to victory and became the first rookie QB to start 2-0 and not commit a turnover in either game. The Eagles are legitimate because of Wentz.
Like Prescott, Wentz doesn’t get rattled and makes the right play calls at the right time. The NFL is a much faster game than college and yet, Wentz is in total control at the line of scrimmage. He’s seeing what the defense is going to do and getting his team in the right play to counter the defense.
Wentz is a perfect fit for the fans in Philadelphia who like their athletes to be tough guys. Wentz has shown time and again his willingness to take on defenders. Now, sooner than later, he’s going to have to learn to get down. Otherwise, he’ll be a tough guy sitting out due to injuries.
But this mentality of his is contagious. The locker room is energized and so are the Eagles fans. Next up for Wentz and the Eagles: the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger. The level of competition and defensive prowess is about to pick up.
My final observation falls within the “they just don’t get it department”.
Penn State University celebrated former coach Joe Paterno’s 50th anniversary of his first game coached at PSU. I posted on this a few days ago and the comments were as I thought they would be. Penn State die-hards continue to defend Paterno while the rest of the country is clear-headed and see’s what a mistake the decision was to “celebrate” Paterno. During the game, Penn State fans applauded a video tribute of the late coach while the visiting Temple fans turned their backs on the tribute.
We could argue until the cows come home about whether or not Paterno knew of his assistant coaches sexual assault of children. Longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting kids and is now serving time in prison.
I’ve spent my entire life around coaches and players. Head coaches…and especially those like Paterno, know about everything going on with their team. They know about school issues of a player, personal issues a player might have with a girlfriend, whether a kids homesick or not, they know about assistant coaches who are struggling with things…you name it, and the head coach knows about it.
Shortly after the scandal came to light, Penn State fired Paterno.
Regardless of this or that, Penn State officials erred in deciding to celebrate Paterno. The school’s reputation around the country is tarnished from the Sandusky matter and this celebration of Paterno did nothing to repair the school’s image.
Penn State has given millions of dollars to victim’s of Sandusky. I pray for their peace and comfort.