Last Thursday on Thanksgiving, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo once again fractured his left collarbone for the second time this season. He is out for the remainder of the year, which pretty much puts an end to the Cowboys' playoff hopes.
But is this the final call for Romo at the Dallas-based franchise?
If this was about Tom Brady or Peyton Manning getting injured at the same age Romo is now, you wouldn't bat an eyelid as they have something which Tony does not, Super Bowl wins. Those two future Hall of Famers would definitely be kept as the franchise quarterback, but Romo's career has played out a different story.
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Since he signed for the team in 2003, the Cowboys have never won a Super Bowl, have never been to the big game itself, and they've never been to the NFC Championship. So as Romo gets older and evidently more injury prone as this is his third collarbone fracture since 2010, how is he the franchise quarterback for the team until his contract expires in 2019?
Head coach Jason Garrett is optimistic with Romo's future in Dallas, according to Todd Archer of ESPN, as he said: "We think Tony has a lot of football left in him. We do think (the collarbone) is an injury that will heal. We do think the back injury has gotten better and better over time. He's more able to handle the work day-to-day and the work week-to-week, so I think that's improved. ... He's got a lot of football ahead of him."
He goes on to say how Tony is a great competitor and that he has the right mindset to get over this hurdle and return to play at a great standard for the team. That may be true, but the quarterback is turning 36 this year, coming off two back surgeries in 2013, and three collarbone injuries since 2010. In other words, he is a major risk.
His age and his vulnerability to injury should be flashing warning lights for the Cowboys' playoff hopes in the future. He hasn't managed to take the side anywhere near the Super Bowl, and while he is a good quarterback, he isn't their future quarterback.
It's time for Dallas to start building towards the future, rather than relying on Romo to stay injury-free for the next four years and possibly miss out on potential postseason runs.