by hosting North Carolina on Saturday, bin Allgemein 17.05.2018 16:43
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It is Aug. 25 -- just 90 seconds into a preseason game in Seattle -- and Tony Romo has lost his job.He doesnt know this, of course. No one does. The crunching hit by Cliff Avril that cracked Romos back and forced him out of that game looked bad, but neither Romo nor the Dallas Cowboys thought it would cost him time. He asked back in, and the next day, the stories out of Dallas all said hed avoided a scare. The story of the night was the preseason debut of first-round running back Ezekiel Elliott, who had 48 yards on seven carries after missing a bunch of practices with a hamstring injury. A few people noted how good fourth-round rookie Dak Prescott looked in relief of Romo.I was ready to go, Prescott said, simply, after hitting 17 of 23 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown that night. While no one expected it to matter right away, that readiness did not go unnoticed.Thats all he had to show, for me, one Cowboys official said nearly two months later, with the phenomenon in full flower. He had to go into that game, without any warmup, against the best defense in the league, that was playing its starters, and he was just -- like it was nothing. He was ready. Whatever we needed him to do, he was ready for it.That was said in retrospect, though. In the days that followed this particular preseason game, Cowboys coaches talked of Prescott as a project. One said Romos injury would offer a rare chance for a rookie to get first-team reps. They believed the system in which Prescott played at Mississippi State would translate well in the pros, and they were starting to convince themselves they might be able to get by with him as Romos primary backup, though Kellen Moore was still in the picture and the plan for Prescott was education, not expectation.Just getting him that exposure right now is huge, one Cowboys coach said in that final week of August, before they knew the severity of Romos back injury. It gives you a good feeling about whats to come.There was a bad feeling in the organization -- that Romo was hurt again, and that the story of Romo from this point forward would be the need to always worry that the next hit could get him hurt again. They werent talking about life after Romo in late August, but they were thinking about it. And Prescott was already nibbling at the corner of that picture.It is Sept. 19, and for the very first time, owner Jerry Jones gets the question.Its the morning after Dallas first win, a 27-23 escape from Washington, a game the Cowboys entered as the underdog. Prescott was close to perfect, with an 88.2 QBR and a passer rating of 103.8, and people inside and outside of Dallas were getting surprisingly excited. This is Daks team now was uttered into many radio microphones, and the phrase scrolled across a lot of TV screens. At this time, the Cowboys still think its a cute idea and nothing more.I think Dak said it best, Jones told local radio hosts. Its Tonys team. Tony has the experience and he has just the ability to make us a better team, so thats the only way you look at it right now.And later: Boy, I dont even want to go there, really, because its a great place to be, to have someone of Tony Romos stature that could be playing for several years, and then have Dak Prescott as well for the future. It just feels good.It is Oct. 13, and Prescott is on the cover of Sports Illustrated.He is nonplussed. Asked by a gaggle of reporters what it feels like, Prescott says, Its always exciting, and points out that he has been on the cover before.Thats when you realize none of this is too big for him. Prescott played high-level college football, has done more than his fair share of interviews and is well versed in football narrative. Hes aware, at this point, that the talk outside the building is about a looming quarterback controversy between him and Romo, who is inching closer to a return. Prescott doesnt care.My job is to win, so Im going to continue to try and do that, he says. If you guys want to make it bigger than that, go ahead.At this time, the Cowboys locker room is a fun place. Backup quarterback Mark Sanchez takes his turn playing laundry basketball with teammates, competing to shoot balls into laundry hampers a few yards away from each other in the part of the locker room where Prescott and Elliott are fielding questions. Elliott talks of what its like to room with Prescott on the road. Prescott brags about a collection of peacock bow ties.In a far corner, star receiver Dez Bryant, still working his way back from an injury that has cost the team nothing in the standings, is smiling and talking about team chemistry.Its fun to go to meetings, Bryant said. Think about that. Meetings are never fun. Theyre not supposed to be fun. But with this group we have here, its all fun. The feeling in here right now, I cant describe it. Its like nothing weve ever had here.Whats clear is that this is not a locker room divided. Romo is still present. Hes a helper for Prescott and is still maintaining the same relationships in the room and in the front office that he has had for years. The strong belief is that, if something happened to force Romo back into action, he would play well behind this monster offensive line, and the team chemistry would be unaffected as long as losing didnt set in.At this time, in mid-October, there are whispers by people in the know about where Romos support lies. They say Jones, coach Jason Garrett and tight end Jason Witten are among the strongest voices in giving the job back to Romo when hes healthy. But the weeks that follow will convince even the strongest Romo loyalists that its better to keep things the way they are until something changes.In the halls of the Cowboys gleaming new training facility in Frisco, Texas, no one will talk about the quarterback. Theyre under orders. The best you can do is off-the-record, walkaway stuff from people who are afraid to be seen talking to you. Even those are on-message.What good does it do us to talk about this right now? one decision-maker asked. We dont know whats going to happen. This is the NFL. [Prescott] could have an injury and then Mark Sanchez is playing in the second half Sunday. Were just going to keep it even and see where it goes.It is Nov. 6, and Romo wants back in, but youre not going to hear him say it.Romo is on the road with the team, watching Prescott take apart the winless Browns in a matchup that more or less amounts to an extra bye week. Romos practice work has ramped up, and teammates say he looks fantastic throwing the ball. There is little doubt he could play, if they needed him to. But they dont.Cowboys sources say theres no doubt Romo would like his job back, but that hes being the good soldier. They say his relationships with Jones and Garrett are strong enough that hes all-in on the decision and wont rock the boat. And just in case, Jones postgame comments Sunday night put Romo in a position where to complain, either publicly or behind the scenes, would instantly label him the bad guy.Tony is on board to ride this thing out as well, Jones said. Let me be real clear on that. There is no equivocation. He is totally committed to doing the very best thing to win the game.Those same sources also point out that Romo is smart enough to know 19 of the NFLs 32 teams have had more than one quarterback throw a pass this season, and 11 teams have had more than one QB start a game. The odds are decent that something will happen to land Romo in a game before this season is over. And if not, theres a chance that means they all get to win the Super Bowl together. Backups get rings, too, after all.It is Nov. 15, and now its official.Romos back is healed and hes ready to return. Only problem is, the kid hasnt let up. Prescott has the Cowboys at 8-1 and in first place in the NFC East. Romo will trade in his game-day sweatsuit for a uniform and pads this week at home against Baltimore, but he will not start. Practice is likely to be different for him this week, too. Weeks ago, he was tough to find, throwing on a back field with equipment staff, tucked into a corner near where Jones helicopter lands at the teams spanking-new practice facility. This week, he should be out there taking Sanchezs snaps, sliding in with Alfred Morris and the backup offensive line after Prescott, Elliott and the starters have their turn.The Cowboys havent ruled out the possibility of Romo starting for them at some point this season, because why should they? Prescott could get hurt. He could struggle, as rookies do, especially as the length of the NFL season starts to affect them. Right now, given his track record, Romo is obviously the best backup quarterback in football, and the Cowboys feel as though they have an embarrassment of riches at the games most important position.Weve got a great luxury, a wonderful problem to have, Jones said after the teams Week 9 victory in Cleveland. Weve got some real talent at the quarterback position. I think Tony Romo is one of the best quarterbacks to play this game, and I get very excited when I look at Dak and his future. I just dont have a problem with this situation.As Jones talked, the Cowboys locker room was in full bubble. Bryant had caught one measly pass for 19 yards in the 35-10 victory in Cleveland and couldnt care less. He laughed with reporters as they discussed how wide open the three receivers were who caught Prescotts touchdown passes, and at how unstoppable Elliott continued to look.Romo sat not far away, dressing quietly but with his own big smile. He has remained silent throughout. Hell make small talk but clearly doesnt want to do interviews for fear of being a distraction. No one with the Cowboys wants anything to distract from whats going on right now.After Prescott and Elliott authored a stunning comeback victory in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Jones said Romo would be Prescotts backup upon his return to the active roster. Were going to let the decision make itself, Jones said. To this point, the decision has been made: Prescott is playing too well for the team to make any changes.But that decision is likely to continue to make itself. Dont expect the Cowboys to make any formal announcements about Prescott being the starter for the rest of the season, or for next season, because why should they?It is Feb. 6, 2017, and the Cowboys have a decision to make.Its too murky at this point to know what has befallen them in the interim. A Super Bowl run? A late-season fizzle? A season done in by an ultimately overmatched defense? Regardless, the Cowboys enter the offseason with the same beautiful quandary they carried with them throughout their season. Theyre confident in Prescott as their quarterback of the future, but also confident that Romo is still one of the best in the game.There are calls to trade Romo. Assuming hes healthy, QB-starved teams would offer high picks for him, even though hes about to turn 37 and, at this point, is clearly a major injury risk. By trading him (or releasing him), they would save $5.1 million on their 2017 salary cap. Prescott is scheduled to cost a mere $635,848 against the 2017 cap, and not much more in 2018 or 2019.But even if they trade or release Romo, the Cowboys will still carry a $19.6 million cap charge for him in 2017 -- the result of an unwieldy contract made even more challenging by continual restructures. So its not as if theyll be able to just throw around money like a team thats committing only 0.4 percent of its cap to the most important position. If the Cowboys think Romo can still play at a high level, theres a case for keeping him, given how much hell cost them regardless.The important thing to know about the Cowboys quarterback situation -- short-term and long-term --?is that its a good thing. If Romo is the backup, they have the best overall quarterback situation in the entire league. If Prescott struggles and Romo takes over again, Prescott isnt the type to crawl into a shell and pout. He knows he has shown he can play in the league, and if his career doesnt turn out to be an unbroken arc of success, hes smart and circumspect enough to know thats more normal than not. What have we seen from Prescott to indicate he wouldnt bounce back if he got benched, Romo got hurt, and he had to go back in and play?And if Prescott doesnt struggle, and the Cowboys decide to move on from Romo after this season, financial consequences be damned, the relationship between him and the team is solid enough that it wont be an ugly parting. If he can figure out a way to keep himself healthy -- a big if at this point -- Romo has every reason to believe he can help someone win in 2017. That could be any number of teams, including the Cowboys.On its own, Prescotts ascendance illustrates the moral of the Cowboys quarterback situation: You never know whats going to happen. Having Romo healthy and Prescott playing well makes Dallas that much better prepared. Best Price ECCO Mens Yucatan Sandals 069564-56396 TARMAC MOON ROCK . -- Jonathan Drouin gave Halifax the boost it needed to edge host Sherbrooke Phoenix 3-2 in a shootout in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. Ecco Mens Boots Sale . -- The Bishops Gaiters are showing they belong among the countrys top varsity football teams. http://www.eccoukoutlet.com/ . -- Jaye Marie Green shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday to increase her lead to five strokes after the second round of the LPGA Tours qualifying tournament. Ecco Sandals Mens Sale UK . 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