Dallas Cowboys fans’ obsession with the Tony Romo Dak Prescott debate

Throughout the Dallas Cowboys storied history, they have been trendsetters and innovators in just about every way possible. An example of this is when one-time Cowboys vice president of player personnel, Gil Brandt, became the first NFL executive to scout players at HBCU (History Black Colleges Universities).

Brandt scouted track stars and basketball players to play football, and former general manager (Tex Schramm) had the foresight to give the Cowboys their highly recognizable colors of metallic blue and silver, along with the “Star” on the helmet.

Aside from those trendsetting moments and the success that followed the franchise, the Dallas Cowboys broke the mold with their branding. Not only did they make the Cowboys “America’s Team, but they made the QB position on the Dallas Cowboys the most glamorous posting in professional sports.

The Dallas Cowboys fanbase has an obsession debating between Tony Romo and Dak Prescott.

A tale of two quarterbacks: Romo vs Dak

The Dallas Cowboys franchise has a short list of accomplished and talented quarterbacks. It started back in the 1960s’ with Don Meredith, followed in succession with Roger Staubach, Danny White, and Troy Aikman. Then it shifted to Dallas’ last two quarterbacks, Tony Romo and Dak Prescott.

The first four quarterbacks on that list all went to an NFC championship game, and three of them won a Super Bowl (White was a backup on the 1977 Cowboys team). In other words, they set the bar high. And if you wear the “star” as the signal caller for this franchise, the expectation is you better win a Super Bowl. No excuses. Period.

These two talented quarterbacks get blamed for 26 years of failure when the blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of Jones for not having the right coaches to win a Super Bowl.

However, things changed considerably for the most recent Cowboys QBs. Romo and Dak haven’t come close to a conference championship game, let alone a Super Bowl bid. Combined, both quarterbacks have won a total of 3 playoffs games. Whether they carry individual responsibility for that or not, the Dallas Cowboys have been in drought for over two decades And fans have responded with some pretty cantankerous views on the matter.

As you already know, there is a percentage of Dallas fans that are still salty that Dak replaced Romo as Dallas’ starting quarterback in 2016. Those fans believe Romo had the talent, experience and leadership to take Dallas to the Super Bowl and win it all. They feel as though Romo got a raw deal and Dak was just a rookie bus driver that caused Dallas to lose to the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs.

You got be kidding me with that defense!

The fans that discredit Dak say it was easy to win 13 games because Dak had a top-5 offensive line, a dominant rookie running back in Ezekiel Elliott, a former Pro Bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant and future Hall of Famer Jason Witten.

To hear those fans tell it, Romo is the greatest Dallas quarterback in history and he would have absolutely won a Super Bowl had be been piloting the ship. .

Tony Romo didn’t lose his job because Dak was the better quarterback at the time, Romo lost his job because he had become injury-prone

There are a few honest reasons why those fans love Tony Romo. After Aikman unexpectedly retired in April of 2001, Dallas went through several quarterbacks until Romo replaced starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe in a Monday night game in 2006. This proud franchise had never gone that long without a legitimate quarterback, and Romo was everything you wanted to see: an exciting gunslinger that made some fantastic passes and had the talent to win Dallas a Super Bowl.

All Romo needed was for Bill Parcells to remain his coach.

Forget Staubach and Aikman, the fans knew they had something special with Romo and never ever wanted to experience the “drought years” of not having an elite signal caller ever again.

Not only did Romo ball out and take Dallas to the playoffs in 2006, but the former undrafted player identified with the fan base more because he didn’t come from a big school and paid his dues in preseason to become a really good quarterback. He was a rags to riches story and fans loved it.

Over the years, Romo continued his fantastic play, won two playoff games, and the media unceremoniously labeled Romo a choker because of his untimely interceptions (not all his fault) and for not delivering a Super Bowl like his predecessors-Staubach and Aikman.

Despite the “choke artist” label, Romo fans continued their loyalty for him, even after Romo became an injury-prone quarterback. Once Romo had become a better quarterback in every statistical category, the injury bug caught up to him and he lost his starting job to Dak. Fans need to understand that Tony Romo didn’t lose his job because Dak was the better quarterback at the time, Romo lost his job because he had become injury-prone, along with Dak proving was a franchise signal caller.

Dak stealing Romo’s shine at the top of his career still stings those fans so much that they uplift Romo only to discredit Dak and his talents. Remember, some of these fans are the same ones that criticized Romo ad nauseum, but now treat Romo as if he was six-time winning quarterback. Wow! The hate is real.

But when Dak took over, all the fourth-round rookie did was throw for 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns, four interceptions, and became only the second player and first rookie in NFL history to pass for over 3,500 yards and throw less than five interceptions. Dak’s 104.9 passer rating was the highest rating for a rookie, and broke Tom Brady’s NFL record for most pass attempts to start a career without an interception (162).

Immediately, Dak had his supporters that defended him to the Romo lovers. Dak’s supporters defend him just as hard because Dak’s criticism trumps Romo’s by a landslide. Yes, Romo received tons of unwarranted criticism too, but it pales in comparison to Dak.

Let’s be honest here for a minute. Dak is criticized on absolutely everything he does. The man throws 37 tds and Dallas fans says it’s because he played against bad defenses in garbage time! My Gawd! Can’t make this stuff up!

Basically, Dak is held to a higher standard. Whether it’s game-winning drives, touchdowns, or interceptions, Dak is always compared to Romo (never to Staubach and Aikman). And that is where the arguments go into a frenzy and the sides feud like the legendary families of the Hatfields and Mckoys.

Dak’s supporters are quick to point out how Dak took Romo’s job, believe Dak’s more clutch worthy and doesn’t throw interceptions in key moments like Romo did. They give Dak more of the benefit of the doubt because of lackluster coaching and a meddling front office.

Further, Dak’s supporters will mention how if Romo was so good in the first place, why did he lose his job to a rookie? Then proceed to say that Romo only appears to be the better quarterback now because of his ability to predict plays while calling the game as an analyst up in the booth.

When it comes to franchise passing records, Romo is the leader, but those in Dak camp will tell you it’s only a matter of time before Dak’s breaks those records because Dak has already set the franchise record with the most passing touchdowns with 37 (2021).

As you can see, this is a back-and-forth task between two camps that love their quarterbacks dearly. But for the fan base to pit them against each other is baseless because both suffer(ed) from the ownership of the Jones Family.

Romo was talented enough to win a Super Bowl but with Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett as head coaches, he wasn’t getting any help. Romo’s gun-slinging ramped up even more because of mediocre defenses, always in a shootout. If Parcells stays, Romo definitely wins a Super Bowl.

Dak benefits from a better coach in Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, but we know Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones wants Dallas to be more of a run-based offense like the ones of the 1990’s-just another obstacle standing in the way of another elite Dallas Cowboys quarterback.

Sidenote: it would be a travesty on the highest level if Dallas goes down in history never winning a Super Bowl with Romo and Dak as franchise quarterbacks. 

Dallas fans are so frustrated that Dallas has not won a Super Bowl since 1995 that their anger is misdirected towards Romo and Dak. These two talented quarterbacks get blamed for 26 years of failure when the blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of Jones for not having the right coaches to win a Super Bowl.

But until the fans focus on that part, we will continue to listen to the tale of two quarterbacks with no ending in sight.