Backup Plan

No. 3 QB Tony Romo is just happy to be here. Seriously. No, seriously.

We're getting ahead of ourselves. Hype is fine in a third-string quarterback whose sole responsibility is holding a clipboard and looking smooth in a baseball cap. But put him on the field, send snarling, unrepentant linebackers in his direction, and suddenly things can fall apart. The maturation process in the NFL can be difficult and lengthy as it is; no need to throw Romo into the mix before he's completely ready.

"Could Romo play without an injury to the others?" Parcells said during camp. "I don't know. That's something we've been discussing as a coaching staff a little bit. I kinda like some of the things I've seen from him. So we'll see."

Carter is the starter now. Hutchinson is the backup. That's all been decided. At least for the next few weeks, that's the way it'll remain. But after the Atlanta loss, who knows for how long? After that, if they drop a slew of games or if Parcells beats the other two with a turkey leg, you might see Romo under center. Were it up to me, I'd give him a shot. (Then, had it been up to me, in the past I would have also advocated trading for Cade McNown, so whatever.)

Coach Bill Parcells has said Tony Romo could be second-string before the season is over.
Mark Graham
Coach Bill Parcells has said Tony Romo could be second-string before the season is over.

"Oh, I dunno, I'm not really thinking like that right now," Romo says. "I'm..."

"I know, I know," I say, cutting him off, "you're happy to be here."

He smiles and goes back to his book.

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