Tony Romo is old. At 33 years old, Romo has experienced a ton of pain as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. While it may not be the case now, the Cowboys had awful offensive line play when Romo first started as the quarterback of American’s team. While quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are still playing at a high level, it should be known that both of those players had competent offensive linemen throughout most of their careers. Because of his offensive line and the vacancy of a consistent running game, Romo has been injured on numerous occasions. Obviously his back problems are the most concerning, but Romo also tore his collarbone, fractured his ribs, and played through punctured lungs.
With all of that being said, something the Cowboys need to clarify in the coming weeks is who will be the backup behind Romo. In recent years, the player playing that backup role was Kyle Orton, but the veteran wants to retire and the Cowboys may have to let him walk. If that happens, Dallas’ backup quarterback options will be Brandon Weeden, Caleb Hanie, and undrafted free agent Dustin Vaughan.
Weeden’s career has flamed out since being drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 NFL Draft, but he may just need a change of scenery to capture that potential he once had in college, despite already being 30 years old. Hanie has been a backup quarterback throughout much of his career, but when he has gotten the chance to show something, he has failed tremendously. Take a look at his performance in the 2011 NFC Championship game when Jay Cutler went down. Hanie had two interceptions and much of his success was because of receivers gaining yardage after the catch. Vaughan could be a fun player to watch in the pre-season, but he is unproven and played for a Division II football team in college.
With the back injuries and his body deteriorating because of football, the Cowboys need to find a player who can be called upon in case of an injury to Romo. While they don’t need to find his heir apparent just yet, the Cowboys need to have a stopgap behind Romo.