Now that the weekend has ended and we’re that much closer to the start of the NFL season, one has to ask (especially Cowboys fans and Tony Romo fantasy owners): Can I get off this wild ride? No. No you may not is probably the answer. After Tony Romo took a hit from Seattle’s Cliff Avril during a benign slide this past Thursday, the chronological order of what then took place was as follows:
- “Romo Back Throwing on the Sidelines.” [Source.]
- “Romo talks about minor back injury, seems completely fine. No X-rays needed.” [Video.]
- “Tony Romo had an MRI Friday and has a broken bone in his back.” [Source.]
Well, that certainly escalated quickly. Oh, and what’s that imaginary narrative voice used as a vehicle to add a nice flourish whilst moving to another but related point to what was just stated? There’s more…? Oh god…
- “Romo to wear back brace. Garrett not ruling him out for week one.” [Source.]
LOL, Jason Garrett, never change my man. Anyhow, there are certainly some fantasy implications with such an injury, and to be completely frank, there are probably real life implications for your liver at the moment if you’ve ever found yourself residing in the Dallas area or if you’ve ever been afflicted at all by Romoliciousness (it’s a real thing, trust me). But let’s all be honest with ourselves at this present time… you’re used to it by now… right? I mean, you have to be.
So, the rankings have been updated already, but here’s how it all settled, at least until they install a robotic spine into Romo’s body and I have to change everything all over again…
Dax Prescott – I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about him. Besides having the name of a rebel X-wing pilot from Star Wars and watching a YouTube highlight reel with what I think the kids are calling “soul hip hop”. But hey, there wasn’t any Macklemore, so how bad could it be? Here’s what the NFL scouting report said about him:
There are physical, athletic, and leadership traits comparable to Tim Tebow, but Prescott is vastly more pro-ready as a passer. He’s an ideal backup as he continues to work on overall consistency, but he’ll bring a dynamic element if his name’s ever called. -Mark Dulgerian.
Boy, they sure know the way straight into my heart. I mean, option one would have been copious amounts of Twix bars… but mentioning Tim Tebow, not just in the first sentence, but as a direct comparison? You couldn’t start off the courting process any better. As you all can attest, we all need a bit more Tebow in our lives, and if we are able to consume it in a large schadenfreude-like Cowboys form, sign me the ef up. Look, obviously Romo falls off a large precipice in my rankings, but I’m not entirely sure what do to with Prescott… and I think honesty here will serve everyone the better. I like the fact that he’s considered “pro-ready” as a passer, even though it comes off as an overused buzzword. (And don’t get me started on someone talking about “leadership traits”.) I’m not really convinced of that anyways, but he did look alright against the Seahawks, and I’d like to think that the Cowboys at least put some thought into finding a capable backup to a player that I wouldn’t quite describe as injury-prone, but I can’t quite describe as ever being healthy either. The point is, they should have prepared for this, and I’m assuming they maybe-kinda did. Hopefully. Maybe. (Ugh, who really knows?) I’m ranking him as my QB23 at the moment, because he will get at least 10 starts unless Garrett outdoes himself and sentences Tony Romo to a life in a wheelchair by forcing him back too early… which Romo seems eager to do as well. As a great man once said: “But… why?”
Dez Bryant – I went back and forth on this a lot. I didn’t want to drop him too much, because there are a lot of instances where individual talent can keep a player afloat, even if the person throwing to him is less than ideal. There’s also the concept that such a talent will also keep a high-level of focus from the game plan itself, or even when the game plan gets blown up, simply because of their ability to make plays within a substandard environment. That was probably the complicated way of saying Bryant is an amazing receiver that could probably make me look good while struggling to chuck a football past the seven-yard line… I mean, imagine what he could to for
Tebow Prescott! But… there is always a limit to such things. And if I’m going to seriously talk about how much a guy named Dax Prescott is currently an unknown to me, AND a long term one at that, there’s no way I can sit here and sell you on Bryant still being a first round-viable option in both standard and PPR formats. In standard leagues, I’ve dropped him seven spots overall, pushing him to a mid-to-late second round option, and he’s dropped two spots in my wide receiver specific rankings. (In PPR formats, he’s dropped 10 spots and six spots, respectfully). These changes might not seem like much, and may still be a tad bit conservative, so take it as this, you will see some value here. If he starts falling in your drafts, I think it’s fine to take a chance, and perhaps the points I made earlier can ring true.
Terrance Williams – An already fringe option in your run-of-the-mill formats, he’s dropped 10 in overall standards and 13 in PPR. Williams will actually take the biggest hit here, as secondary targets always seem to suffer when something dramatic happens at the quarterback position. (And we’re way past your TNT drama, nawhatimsayin’ dawg? Wait, does TNT still use that tagline? This may be dated, but I’m going with it.) Sometimes it’s because the quarterback will naturally lean on their star target (Bryant), perhaps even forcing it too, as alluded to above. Sometimes they’ll have to use shorter-read options, like Ezekiel Elliott and Jason Witten. And sometimes they might not even make it to that progression. I mean, RG-III has never made it to his second progression ever, and he’s been in the league for several years now. And look, it’s no secret that Williams has been in this situation before (Haven’t. We. All.) and hasn’t thrived in the least.
Ezekiel Elliott and Jason Witten – I lumped these two together simply because both of these players are probably going to end up the least affected by Romo’s injury. Both moved down three spots in PPR leagues (with Witten going down 11 overall, but no change to his specific positional ranking) and it’s mostly because of what was touched upon (legal touching, mind you) in Williams blurb. In fact, one could argue that Elliott’s value could go up a bit with a possible increase of touches in an offense that might struggle to move the ball vertically. In Witten’s case, the tight end is a quarterback’s best friend in those “oh sh*t, there’s a linebacker coming for my face” type of moments, and he, like Elliott, could even see an uptick. I’m going to err on the caution, as it’d probably be a little optimistic to see the offense benefit from such a thing. It’s almost like: “Hey man, I know you broke your leg, but I bet you could make a mean omelet for me!” I’m actually pretty sure that makes no sense whatsoever.
There’s of course other news and notes that we’ll be covering for this week, but you can bet that I’m always here to report and give profound analysis when Romonobyl happens. They call me: Philanthropist. (No one actually calls me that.)