What's next for Tony Romo

Warm up! The NFL Column for Matchday 4 : A breath of fresh air in Dallas

Then it happened again: Tony Romo is tackled by Seattle defender Cliff Avril after a failed play and remains injured on the ground. The shoulder again. A good two and a half weeks before the start of the regular NFL season, it becomes clear on August 25 after the friendly against the Seahawks: The Cowboys will have to do without their star quarterback for a large part of the season.

For the team from the Texan metropolis, Tony Romo is something of a curse and a blessing at the same time. They are good with him, but not good enough. And nothing works without him. In terms of skills, Romo is among the very best there is in this most important position in American football. Since his debut in 2006, it is mainly thanks to him that the cowboys are regularly counted among the favorites. But then there are these flaws: Romo has always made mistakes or simply had bad luck in crucial moments, so that it was never enough for more than the first main round of the play-offs. In addition, there is his susceptibility to injury. In the last three seasons he missed 14 games, only one of which the Cowboys could win.

A rookie as a Romo heir?

So it was quite remarkable what the Cowboys did in the draft this year, in which the professional teams can secure the best talent from the college league. On the third and final day, at a time when the most important decisions had long been made and most of the halfway well-known names from the pool of young players had been sold out, the Dallas Cowboys voted with the 135th pick quarterback Dak Prescott from Mississippi State University.

A young playmaker who had shown potential in the course of his college career and can now learn and mature for a while as a substitute behind the now 36-year-old Tony Romo, that made sense.

“I think we rookies still have to evolve to become better NFL players,” Prescott said modestly on record at the time. "If that means being number two for a year or two and learning everything from Tony Romo, I'm ready for it." Romo's injury history will also have been known to him at this point in time. Prescott could hardly have wished for a better club.

Success with two newcomers

In the meantime, the reverse is also true: the cowboys could hardly ask for a better Romo representation. The rookie, thrown into the deep end after Romo's injury and the Cowboys' starting quarterback from the start of the season, has so far been convincing with a safe and already very mature style of play. In the first three games he did not get a single interception. And what is even more important: the cowboys win. After a narrow opening defeat against the New York Giants, Prescott led his team to two wins and thus more than in the 14 Romo-less games of the past three years combined. Dallas is also the favorite on Sunday for the San Francisco 49ers (beginning at 10:25 p.m. German time).

Another high performer is running back Ezekiel Elliot, who is also a newcomer to the league, but who had higher expectations as the fourth pick of the draft. The rookie tandem brings a breath of fresh air to the offensive around established star players Jason Witten (tight end) and Dez Bryant (wide receiver).

What some experts suspected at the draft, now seems to be confirmed: this 135th pick by the Texans was a so-called steal, a bargain. Seven other quarterbacks were selected before Prescott, some of these teams should now look to Dallas with some envy. And if things continue like this, the Dallas Cowboys coaches will have to deal with the question: What to do when Tony Romo is fit again?

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The schedules for the 4th match day (all information in German time):

Friday, 02.25 a.m .:

Cincinnati Bengals - Miami Dolphins

Sunday, 3.30 p.m .:

Jacksonville Jaguars - Indianapolis Colts

Sunday, 7 p.m.

Atlanta Falcons - Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears - Detroit Lions

Baltimore Ravens - Oakland Raiders

Houston Texans - Tennessee Titans

New England Patriots - Buffalo Bills

New York Jets - Seattle Seahawks

Washington Redskins - Cleveland Browns

Sunday, 10:05 p.m .:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Denver Broncos

Sunday, 10:25 p.m .:

Arizona Cardinals - Los Angeles Rams

San Diego Chargers - New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers - Dallas Cowboys

Monday, 2.30 a.m .:

Kansas City Chiefs - Pittsburgh Steelers

Tuesday, 2.30 a.m .:

Minnesota Vikings - New York Giants

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At this point we write every Thursday on a topic related to the upcoming NFL game day. On Sundays we are there for the entire football day (approx. 6 p.m. until the next morning) via live blog and every Tuesday we round the Spiel day with our five questions.

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