Many believe that the Cowboys have no chance to beat the Eagles without Tony Romo at quarterback. Many think that Cowboys have what quickly has become the most overused NFL-related cliche’ — “a puncher’s chance.”
Some actually believe that the Cowboys have a better chance to win with Kyle Orton in and Tony Romo out. Some of those have past connections to the Cowboys.
Count former Cowboys (and 49ers and Eagles and Bills and Bengals) receiver Terrell Owens among those who think Dallas can reverse its recent fate in NFC East title games with Orton under center.
“I do,” Owens told NFL Network, via the Dallas Morning News. “If you look at the situation, if it shakes out and it’s a shootout, late in the game everybody is expecting Tony Romo to throw some interceptions. Again, not to take away anything from what he’s done this year. He’s played spectacular. But going into situations like this, everybody expects the obvious, and that’s for him to make a mistake, a huge mistake.”
In all fairness, Owens isn’t exactly unbiased. Despite his passive-aggressive “that’s my quarterback” nonsense after a bye-week Mexican vacation potentially undermined Romo’s preparation for an early 2008 playoff game against the Giants, Owens reportedly believed at one point that Romo and tight end Jason Witten were conspiring to get the ball more to Witten and less to the receivers.
Owens isn’t the only former Cowboys player who believes Orton could help the team win. Quarterback Danny White, who served both as backup and starter in Dallas, told The FnA Podcast on AM570 FOX Sports LA that the Cowboys will have a better chance of winning with Romo out and Orton in.
“As crazy as this may sound, I think their chances of winning the game just got better,” White said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen backup quarterbacks come in and it just raises the level of intensity, their level of concentration. They’ll either crater and go right in the tank, or they’ll rise to the occasion. Every guy will play just a little bit better.”
While fellow former Cowboys quarterback Babe Laufenberg stopped short of saying the team is better off sans Romo, Laufenberg thinks the offense will be in good hands.
“I really do have great confidence in Orton,” Laufenberg told Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News. “When the Cowboys signed him they thought he was the best guy out there. He has gone from the 45th most important player on the roster to No. 1.”
The Cowboys are hoping to finish No. 1 in the NFC East for the first time since 2009, after losing a chance to do so in 2011 and 2012. If that happens, both the Cowboys (since 1997) and Orton (for his career) will move more than No. 1 game above .500 in the win-loss column.