The Tony Romo story, as it relates to his next chapter beyond the Dallas Cowboys, is not a new story. But it's still a "news'' story, because this is the Cowboys, this is a QB, and this is Romo,
*CowboysHQ.com has informed you about Romo's recent meeting with the Joneses ...
*We've issued a heartfelt goodbye to Tony and told you that retirement is in play, all along having informed you of the likelihood of an outright release of Romo, something reinforced by ESPN on Thursday ...
So, Debate Camp ... where should Romo go?
Matt Galatzan: This one is pretty easy for me. I see a lot of people, whether it’s on message boards or on ESPN, who say Denver is the ideal spot for him to land. But, while I do think that the Broncos would be a good fit, I think that there is a better one out there for the 36-year old.
The Houston Texans.
Houston has everything that Romo needs to come in and be successful, including a dominant defense, a solid running game, and playmakers at the receiver position. They also have one of the most quarterback-friendly coaches in the entire NFL in Bill O’Brien.
Houston’s defense, led by J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Benardrick McKinney, is both young and extremely talented. Even after Watt went down for the season with an injury, they were able to retain their dominance, and finished the season as the number one overall defense in the league in yards allowed, number two against the pass, as well as top 12 in rush defense and scoring defense.
I know, Denver had a similarly great defense, but there is one major difference between these two teams, that I believe Romo needs above everything else—A running game.
If you look at the years that the Romo and the Cowboys were at their best, such as 2014 for example, it was because Romo could rely on a running game to take the pressure off of him a bit. That year, DeMarco Murray led the NFL in rushing, and the Cowboys went 12-4, and were a ‘Dez caught it’ moment away from facing a Seattle Seahawks team, which they already defeated once that season, in the NFC Championship game.
Houston’s running game might not be at the level of dominance of the Cowboys in 2014, but it was a top-10 rushing attack in the NFL this past season. As a team, they ranked eighth in the NFL, averaging 116.2 yards per game.
While they only had eight rushing touchdowns on the year, much of that had to do with the fact that Brock Osweiler was god awful at the quarterback spot, and opposing defenses gave him no respect in the red zone. With someone like Romo back there for Houston, it could really open things up for Lamar Miller, and make that offense extremely dangerous.
I like the idea of Houston so much for Romo that I will make a bold prediction — If Tony Romo lands with the Texans next season, and manages to stay healthy, Houston will represent the AFC in Minneapolis at next year’s Super Bowl.
Matthew Postins: I can certainly understand gravitating toward the Houston Texans. They’re in-state, which means Romo doesn’t have to travel far to play (and that actually becomes a consideration now that kid No. 3 is on the way). And they certainly have a great deal of positives in terms of personnel and coaching. But I’ve said it since it became apparent that Romo had no future in Dallas — it’s the Denver Broncos.
We’ll get into personnel in a minute, but let’s start by talking about that intangible called winning tradition. The Broncos have won three Super Bowls. In fact, they’ve won a Super Bowl in the past two years. Do you know how many playoff games the Texans have won? Three, and they’ve never been past the divisional round. Would you rather play for a franchise that has been there, done that, or one that hasn’t even done that yet?
As for personnel, well the Broncos have plenty to surround Romo with. Start with the receivers — Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Cody Latimer and tight ends Virgil Green and A.J. Derby. Statistically it doesn’t look that way, but this is one of the best overall groups in the NFL. What held them back? Well, quarterbacking. Trevor Siemian was a nice player and he did some good things as the starter, but he by no means elevated this group to the level that Peyton Manning did a couple of years ago. Romo may not be able to do that either, but he can certainly put this offense back in the Top 10 when healthy.
Matt G. referenced the running game, and I’m less worried about that than others. This aspect certainly held the Broncos back in 2016, but part of that was due to the injury to C.J. Anderson, who played just seven games. But for his career he’s averaged 4.6 yards per carry and scored 17 times. Give him a full year of health and I think he could be effective enough to push this offense forward. Plus, the Broncos could add a back in the draft to go along with Anderson and Devontae Booker.
The Broncos have one of the best defenses in the NFL, led by Von Miller. So no issues there.
Like the Texans the Broncos have the cap space to lure Romo on a short-term deal. Unlike the Texans they don’t have top-dollar committed to a quarterback like Brock Osweiler. While that shouldn’t hold the Texans back from adding a quarterback, it might.
When I look at the landscape and I look at the teams best suited for Romo, I see Denver as the best location.