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With Tony Romo’s back healed, who will start as quarterback?

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo

As QB Tony Romo recovers from a back injury, fans are wondering who will start for the Cowboys: Romo or backup Dak Prescott? (Photo Works / Shutterstock.com)

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced Tuesday that quarterback Tony Romo’s fractured back has healed to the point where he doesn’t have to worry about it anymore. While Jones doesn’t know when Romo will be 100 percent ready to play, we have to start asking the question: Who will be the Cowboys’ starting quarterback?

Romo recovering

There’s certainly a lot of anticipation surrounding Tony Romo’s return, whether it is Oct. 30 versus the Philadelphia Eagles or Nov. 6 versus the Cleveland Browns. But given backup quarterback Dak Prescott’s great performance so far (the Cowboys are 4-1 this season), should the Cowboys go back to Romo?

In the meantime, Romo is focusing on getting back into shape after being sidelined since Aug. 25. He’s been throwing for the past month, and now he’s starting to take part in team drills.

“What you’re into is getting him to get his core, get his core back area back in shape as he’s had to do for the last several years,” Jones said Tuesday. “All players at this age need to do it, have to do that. So it’s just a question of him working back in.”

He added that Romo is happy to have Prescott winning because it will give Romo “an opportunity to be on a Cowboy team that’s got a chance to do it now” – maybe even go all the way.

Rookie vs. veteran

The main question here isn’t whether Romo can come back from his injury and lead the Cowboys to victory – it’s whether the team should risk it when they’ve got a winning quarterback already playing.

Jerry Jones and even Prescott himself have both said this is Romo’s team when he fully recovers – but the questions remain. Many believe going back to Romo would be a mistake on the Cowboys’ part, and could cause some controversy in the locker room. Others, however, say not choosing the veteran quarterback would be unprecedented, and possibly an even bigger mistake.

When asked last week whether Prescott would stay as starter, coach Jason Garrett dodged the question graciously, saying he’s just focused on the team playing as well as they can. They’re certainly doing that. The Cowboys easily defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 28-14 on Sunday, with Prescott completing 18 of 24 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown – a pretty modest game for him, all things considered.

Jones said Tuesday that “it’s a miracle problem to have, in my mind. I’m so proud because every time Dak takes a snap I see our future getting stronger. … I see what he’s doing right now, his presence on that particular series or that particular down, all of that is there. And I look over there and in my mind [see] someone that is very capable of winning it all, Tony Romo, with all that experience. …. So how do you ask for any more?”

What it boils down to essentially is this: When Tony Romo is ready, whether or not he takes over will likely be his decision to make. Whatever he decides, the Cowboys are in a good position. They may have a “quarterback controversy” on their hands, but there are worse things.

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