|By Larry Gold, Friday, September 12, 2014|
QB Tony Romo - Quality Backup
There is more uneasiness surrounding Tony Romo coming into 2014 than in recent years. The former Eastern Illinois alumnus underwent back surgery at the end of last season. It is expected he returns to start the season healthy; however, the growing concern is that the history of freakish injuries (punctured lung & broken clavicle) may be starting to take its toll on the 34-year-old. There is also an added concern that the Cowboys are on the verge of being dismantled on both the coaching and player front after three consecutive mediocre 8-8 seasons where they have severely under-performed expectations. Whether justified or not, much of that blame has fallen on the high profile quarterback who has regularly struggled with critical mistakes late in close games; even in games where his stat line was way above the rim. When healthy, the three-time Pro Bowler has been a consistent and reliable fantasy quarterback for most of his career and even more relevant, has been a clear fantasy starter the past three years. In fact Romo ranked fifth in passing TDs with 31 in both 2011 & 2013. In 2012, he passed for 28 TDs, ranking sixth. Romo's yardage totals peaked in 2012 with 4,903 passing yards, only trailing Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford. Romo fell off a bit in 2013, landing 12th in passing yardage; although he would have made the Top 10 had he not missed the last game of the season due to injury. Camp Romo will also point out that the Cowboys' much maligned offensive line is finally on the rise. The running game (led by DeMarco Murray) is keeping defenses honest and Dez Bryant (along with Jason Witten and Terrance Williams) make up an excellent supporting cast. Additionally, given the likelihood that the Cowboys' defense will continue their recent struggles (which will be further enhanced by the voids left by DeMarcus Ware [free agency] and Sean Lee [injury]), Romo may lead the league in garbage time stats while playing catch-up. Romo is currently being viewed a fringe starter as the 13th QB off the board. While he is certainly capable of being a weekly starter for your fantasy team, be sure to lock up another quality option given the injury worries and cloudiness surrounding the offense.