If the Dallas Cowboys lose on the road to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today, they should sit Tony Romo for the rest of the season with the playoffs now virtually impossible to reach.
Romo has been missing for six games with a broken collarbone, in which time the Cowboys have lost all six of their fixtures, but is set to return on the 22nd of November at the Miami Dolphins.
However, a loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday would leave the Cowboys at 2-7, meaning they would need to realistically go at least 6-1 in their final seven games to even have a chance of making the playoffs.
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That would not be a simple feat, either, as the Cowboys remaining fixtures are far from simple. Four days after the Dolphins, they then face the (currently) undefeated 8-0 Carolina Panthers at home on Thanksgiving Thursday.
Following that is a division match away to Washington, backed up by travelling to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers, who are nigh-on unbeatable at home. That's all before their season finishes with home games to the Jets and Washington once again, and a trip to the Buffalo Bills in-between.
It would be incredibly difficult for the Cowboys to get the wins required, especially considering the fact that even if they did, it may still not be enough.
At 35-years-old, there is no need for Romo to be taking unnecessary hits, especially when he has suffered two quite major injuries in the past three seasons.
In 2013, Romo suffered a herniated disc in his lower back which ruled him out for the rest of the season, before last year injuring his transverse process, another back injury, and coming back early to miss only one week.
Now Dallas, and Romo, who has been playing as well as ever over the past couple of years, must realise the benefits of giving him time to relax and to get his body fully healed and ready for next year, instead of possibly suffering yet another injury.
This means it would be best for the team, and for Romo's health, if they prevented him from playing for the rest of the season or at the minimum as soon as they are out of playoff contention.
They are currently bottom of the poor NFC East division with their 2-6 record, after the New York Giants (5-4), Philadelphia Eagles (4-4) and Washington Redskins (3-5).
In many ways, the Cowboys are fortunate that there is even the slight chance of them being able to make the playoffs, as they would be totally out of contention in any of the other three NFC divisions.
But unfortunately for Dallas, it is hard not to see the current division leaders, the Giants, win at least three of their remaining seven matches.
A victory for the Giants this week against the 8-0 New England Patriots would be a huge bonus, as they will fancy their chances much more after their bye next week which should allow them to refocus and regroup before their final six fixtures.
That is not to rule out the Philadelphia Eagles, either, who have now won three of their last four matches and will fancy a strong run at the top spot in the division in the latter stages of the year.
All of this makes it even more difficult for Dallas to qualify for the playoffs and, although a miracle is always possible, if I was in charge of the Cowboys, I would certainly not be willing to risk Romo with so little to gain.
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