We interrupt our regularly-scheduled Eagles coverage here on Bleeding Green Nation to deliver a BLISTERING HOT TAKE about one of Philadelphia's NFC East rivals: the Dallas Cowboys. (I also delivered this take on the latest episode of BGN Radio, if you're interested in an audio format.)
According to a number of outlets, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has been ruled probable to play against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars this week. Romo has been dealing with a back injury that he suffered in Week 8 during the team's loss to the Washington Redskins. The injury caused Romo to miss the team's Week 9 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
With Dallas on a two-game losing streak, and losing ground in the NFC East along the way, it's easy to see why they're desperate to get back to winning. I just think the decision to play Romo this week is insanely stupid. Especially when the team is going on a bye next week which gives Romo extra time to recover.
First of all, this week's game doesn't really hold a lot of value for the Cowboys. I know all wins are important in a 16-game season but the Jaguars are an AFC opponent. This game will have no impact on conference or division tiebreakers when it comes to playoff seeding. While a loss to Jacksonville would be embarrassing, yes, it would not be the end of the world.
Second, the Jaguars are really bad. Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles leads the NFL in interceptions thrown (13) despite not having played in the first two games of the season. Jacksonville owns the worst point differential in the NFL. Now, look... Cowboys backup Brandon Weeden isn't very good. I get that. But if there's no confidence he can even beat the Jaguars, why is he on the roster?
Third, even though the Jaguars are very bad overall, they are very good at doing one thing particularly well: hitting the quarterback! The Jaguars are tied for third in the NFL with 27 sacks. While it's true the Cowboys have a good offensive line, the unit's run-blocking is a lot better than their pass protection. According to Football Outsiders, the Dallas offensive line has allowed an adjusted sack rate of 7.5%, which ranks 26th in the NFL. It's nearly a given that Romo will be hit often on Sunday.
Now, it goes without saying that I'm not a doctor. I'm not aware of Romo's exact medical situation. The Cowboys surely have a lot more information on his status than I do. Perhaps he's healthy enough to play without risking further damage. But then I see things like this...
Schefter: "Tony Romo wore flip flops for 2 weeks because he couldn't bend over to tie his shoes." And they're gonna start him ahead of bye?— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) November 6, 2014
...and I just can't help but think Dallas is risking way too much here for such a little reward.
But I'm sure the Eagles won't mind the Cowboys' lunacy.