The Dallas Cowboys are 9-1 this season and Tony Romo hasn’t played one game. Who would have guessed that a year ago?
In the third game of the preseason, Romo broke a vertebra in his back and in turn, opened the door for rookie QB Dak Prescott. Romo’s injury may have been the biggest blessing in disguise in Cowboys history.
Before the season began, Romo was considered a tier 2 quarterback in the league according to oddsmakers. Not quite elite, but better than average. With Romo behind center, Dallas was expected to have a pretty darn good season, with their preseason win total set at 9.5. However, once Romo went down, that number dropped to 8, which is understandable given the team’s struggles in Romo’s absence last season.
The Cowboys dropped their first game, but have won every game since then. Even after Prescott led them to a 4-1 start, the books still thought that Romo had a pretty convincing chance to start a game this season — slightly more than a 70% chance in the eyes of 5Dimes.
NFL Props (5Dimes)
Browns to go 0-16: +500
Vikings to go 16-0: +1650
Romo to start in 2016: -260
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) October 15, 2016
One month and four wins later, Romo’s odds had slipped considerably to start a game.
Tony Romo is +190 to start at least one regular season game for the #Cowboys and +120 to remain on the roster for Week 1 of the 2017 season.
— David Solar (@TheDavidSolar) November 15, 2016
Last week, Romo held a press conference to say that although it hurt from a competitive standpoint, he knew that the best thing for the Cowboys was for him to serve as Prescott’s back-up going forward. Obviously Prescott could get hurt, allowing Romo return as the starter, but otherwise, Romo’s days as the Cowboys’ starting QB are essentially over.
This past week, TopBet posted a Tony Romo prop: What team will Tony Romo play for in Game 1 of 2017-18 regular season?
|Team||Bookmaker (3/8 updated)||Bookmaker (3/8 open)||BetOnline (1/17)||TopBet (12/14)||TopBet (11/29)||TopBet (11/22)||TopBet (11/17)|
|New York Jets||+1500||+600||+600||+300||+1200||+1600||+1600|
As you can see, there is still a pretty good chance that Romo remains a Cowboy at the beginning of next season. Romo is still signed through 2019 at a pretty hefty price tag, which could hurt his chances at being moved. However, Prescott is clearly the Cowboys’ quarterback of the future and it doesn’t make sense to keep Romo on the roster as a backup for ~$20 million a season for the remainder of the decade.
Bookmaker also opened up odds yesterday, with the Broncos slightly favored over the Cowboys. Missing from their list is the Cardinals, who occupy the third spot on TopBet’s list.
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) November 23, 2016
The Broncos’ odds of landing Romo have already moved from +250 to +200 at TopBet over the past week. This would closely resemble Peyton Manning’s move to Denver. When the Broncos signed Manning, he was over 35 years old and the Colts were about to select Andrew Luck as their next franchise quarterback. Romo is over 35 years old and has watched as Dak Prescott (and Ezekiel Elliott) have become the Cowboys’ players of the future.
Some of the teams further down the list definitely provide better value, though. Who is to say that Denver isn’t content with either Trevor Siemian or first round pick Paxton Lynch going forward?
My two favorites on the list are Chicago and the New York Jets. Both have very unstable quarterback situations with no clear heir apparent. Romo also went to college at Eastern Illinois, which could play in Chicago’s favor. The Jets have a handful of choices under center, but do any of them have a chance of being good? At 10/1 and 15/1, respectively, I would take a look at these two teams rather than go for one of the three favorites.
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