This offseason is normally the time the Cowboys give potential free agents an extension, but this should not be one of those times. He has been the starting quarterback of this team since the middle of 2006, and by now the Cowboys know. This is who he is.
After watching Romo throw three interceptions against the Redskins in the season-ending 28-18 loss here on Sunday night, the evidence has now reached the "overwhelming" stage. He will be 33 in April of '13, and still has a few good years left but at this point he needs to go to another team that needs a quarterback.
The guy can play, but you have to wonder if even he isn't so tired of this story that he is ready to pull the trigger to see if the results will change.
Other astute observations from D.C. ...
1. The lines of the Cowboys have serious issues. The offensive line is limited; Tyron Smith may be fine at left tackle, but it looks as if the Cowboys are ready to write off Doug Free. The interior of the line is just -ish.
The defensive line is just as average. After basically missing the whole season with an ankle injury, Jay Ratliff may be cut. Josh Brent is gone. As a player he was developing into a solid stuffer. Sean Lissemore and Tyrone Crawford may eventually be OK, but this line has to start making some plays.
2. At one point in the fourth quarter the receivers were Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris and Kevin Ogletree. Injuries to Miles Austin and Dez Bryant made this scenario a necessity.
Ogletree was too erratic this season, but Harris is a major find both as a punt returner and a third receiver.
3. Have Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware wasted their best years? Probably. Witten just had the finest regular season ever for a tight end, but he has been in the league for 10 years. He can likely continue to put up good numbers for a few more years, but you can't expect any more 100-catch seasons like this.
Ware will be 31 next year and you have to think he has two more years of high quality plays left in him.
4. Robert Griffin III is hurt. Griffin was wearing a heavy brace over his right knee on Sunday night, and he was not moving the same. Regardless, he still ran six times for 63 yards and threw for 100 yards on 9-of-18 passing.
5. The Redskins swept the season series against the Cowboys for the first time since 2005. Good timing.
6. Dez Bryant is a man, man baby. But he is fragile? This is a tough human being. He had the broken finger that is going to require surgery, probably this week. And he had to leave Sunday night's game with a bad back.
In his third season in the NFL, Dez developed into a top No. 1 receiver. But you ever notice how often he is always addressing some type of injury?
7. Miles Austin was this team's most disappointing skill position player. He had 66 receptions for 943 yards this season, hardly awful, but the Cowboys needed more from him. Austin is not 30, and he has demonstrated he is a legit threat. He needs to stay healthy, which does not get easier as you turn older, and he has to make bigger plays.
8. Reasons to be optimistic - Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr should be the core of what can be a pretty good defense next season.
9. RB Felix Jones and CB Mike Jenkins are gone. Jones is the portrait of why never to select a running back in the first round of the draft, unless his name is Adrian Peterson. Both Jones and Jenkins were first round draft choices by the Cowboys in 2008. And it looks like both will be gone before the start of the '13 season.
To have neither of your first round picks from that draft, and but one playoff win in their careers here, is a waste.
10. The Cowboys deserved to finish 8-8. The line between 10-6 and 8-8 is scary thin in the NFL, and the Cowboys were never good enough to seperate themselves even slightly because this is what erratic teams do - finish .500.
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