We all have opinions. That's part of the fun of being a football fan. And when it comes to a so-called "QB controversy,'' even the least-informed among us wants to chime in; QB is the most visible position, it's where the ball is, it's the guy we most cheer and most boo.
The Dallas Cowboys have such a situation now because of the existence of Tony Romo and the existence of Dak Prescott. And that "situation'' is causing a grand buzz ... outside of The Star In Frisco.
But what about inside? How is the team itself handling it? What do the players think about this idea of "Romo vs. Dak''? Is it a media creation and a fan creation and nothing more?
Courtesy of 105.3 The Fan, let's have Mike Fisher -- in his 33rd season covering the NFL -- guide us into the Cowboys locker room ...
By Mike Fisher
FRISCO - How do you effectively shut down a bully-like threat from the outside insisting that a team have a “QB controversy’’?
You stand up to the bully.
“Nobody’s worried about that stuff,’’ Dez Bryant told me on Wednesday when I asked him about what many fans and media think is or should be a “Tony Romo vs. Dak Prescott’’ angle. “You can’t control what’s going on outside of this building. Everybody wants to say crazy stuff. But you’re not hearing that from coach (Jason) Garrett or from Mr. (Jerry) Jones or from people in this building. (Therefore) it doesn’t matter.’’
Bryant participated in practice Wednesday for the first time in three weeks and plans to return from his knee injury either this weekend at Green Bay or on Oct. 30 against the Eagles. Romo — who I’ve seen do private practice work for two straight days at The Star in Frisco, and looking good doing it — is also targeting Oct. 30 for his return from a back injury. If that occurs, he’ll be replacing the rookie Prescott, who has been brilliant in leading Dallas to its surprising 4-1 record. (That's the Cowboys plan all along, as detailed here. ... with an added note that Week 9 is also in play for a return, against the Browns.)
Will Prescott be bothered by such a change? He said that as a competitor, he wants to play, but …
“This,’’ he said emphatically, “is Tony’s team.’’
The organization has generally been pretty emphatic about this, too, with only Jerry’s rather theatrical discussion about “options’’ this week on 105.3 The Fan serving as the only variance. (See: "Two QBs Equal One Playoff Contender,'' here.) There are folks poking around the Cowboys looking for cracks in the “Tony’s Team’’ armor; they are failing to find said cracks.
How about Ezekiel Elliott? He’s the NFL’s leading rusher, so maybe he’s got some pull. His best friend on the team is Prescott, so maybe he’s harboring a bias? He’s a rookie so maybe he can be goaded into a verbal stumble?
Asked if the team would be disappointed in a chance from Dak to Romo, Zeke said, “I think there would be no problem in this locker room.’’
This sort of harmony is not easy to achieve. Everyone from Brett Favre to your bartender has an opinion on what Dallas should do. Two national media outlets shipped correspondents to Frisco this week to offer opinions and to see if anyone inside the building would bite.
I asked Dez if he wanted to echo the “It’s-Tony’s-Team’’ mantra expressed by Prescott. And nope, Bryant smartly wouldn’t go there.
'It's the truth,’’ said Dez, beaming with pride at the familial atmosphere he’s helped build inside the Dallas locker room. “Tony's been here. But that's not for me to speak on.’’
And he’s right. The Cowboys don’t need 53 individual voices on the subject. They already have one collective voice.