Total disclosure: I am a Tony Romo fan. I’ve even taken on the roll as Romo apologist on a number of occasions. It’s hard work, doesn’t pay much and games like yesterday don’t help the cause.
So when I say, "move swiftly away from Tony Romo as your starting QB in your fantasy league", I do so with a high degree of objectivity.
For a full breakdown of the game, check out this great article from my colleague Ryan Puckett.
There are arguments floating around regarding whether or not Tony Romo was game ready, having largely been a non-participant in the preseason. There’s another narrative which debates whether or not Romo tried to do too much in yesterdays game. He certainly made some terrible reads and threw into some impossible coverage situations more than once, but that isn’t the important story at hand. Yes, it was brutal to watch, but those errors can be corrected. In fact, they’re likely to be gone by next week. It’s safe to assume that we will witness Tony Romo at his normal state of football acuity. At his mental best, he is a savvy gunslinger. He takes a lot of chances, but he’s very good a hurting a defense which shows a weakness.
Sadly, I think the real heart of the problem is entirely physical. 8 months ago, Tony Romo had back surgery to remove a stray disc fragment from his back. He’s still suffering.
Watch this highlight package from week five of last season. This is the game in which Peyton Manning and Tony Romo had a showdown for the ages. Tony Romo eclipsed 500 yards passing before ultimately throwing a game deciding interception late in the 4th quarter. It’s a long highlight package, so consider skipping to the 3 minute mark to see a few throws in succession by Romo. Notice the bounce in his feet, the freedom of motion when he runs, the velocity of his passes, and the range of movement in his back upon throwing.
Now watch this “highlight” package from yesterday’s game. Pay attention to the total lack of the traits you saw in the previous video.
Romo isn't moving... "right"
All day yesterday the throws lacked zip and accuracy. He threw behind receivers and several of his deep balls were under thrown. I would suspect that all of these throws were completions in his head. What I mean is... He saw the opening and made the throw, but the instinct to attempt the pass was based on his experiences when he’s healthy. He can’t make all of the throws with his body that he can currently see in his mind.
I believe that Romo will be fine eventually. But if he’s on your fantasy roster, it’s time to trade him or stash him. Another risk factor is the fear of an overcompensation injury. With his back at less than 100% he runs the risk of putting too much pressure on his legs/knees, shoulders and arm to make up the difference. It’s not unrealistic to assume that he’ll miss a game or two this season for a non-back injury.
My advice is to trade him or stash him. Jake Locker, E.J. Manuel, Derek Carr and Brian Hoyer are all owned in less that 15% of leagues in yahoo. All would be a decent handcuff for Romo until you acquire a stronger replacement or (less likely) his back comes around. While you’re at it, drop another underperformer and Grab one of these guys