How Screwed Are The Cowboys And Vikings?

Preseason injuries are part of every season.  Every year, a big time name goes down before Week 1.  Last year it was Jordy Nelson.

But this year we had two.  Not just any two though.  Both were quarterbacks, one with a devastating knee injury, the other with a not-so-shocking back injury.

Both leave huge holes on their team, but one much more than the other.

Lets start with the Vikings, and answer a couple questions regarding their quarterback situation.

Whats the point of trading for Sam Bradford if you have Teddy Bridgewater for next season?

I genuinely felt bad for my Vikings friends when Teddy got hurt.  It was brutal to see the news come through Twitter, and it progressively get worse and worse.

I love Teddy Bridgewater.  I think he’s really good, and have been high on him ever since he was drafted.  In fact, I had Teddy Bridgewater going No.1 overall to Houston until it was not longer reasonable for whatever reason to have him the first round.  It was an insane draft night, and I was stunned he fell so far.  Since, I’ve been on his boat.

There’s a lot of people around the league who don’t like Teddy.  Who don’t think he’s that great.  Who think he’s a game-manager.

He’s definitely not a game-manager, because we’ve seen him do big things.  But he does have Adrian Peterson in his backfield, and we all know the work AP puts in for the Vikings.

But the question with Teddy that I still need answered is…  Can he be the quarterback to get Minnesota to the playoffs without AP doing what he does on a gamely/seasonal basis?  Thats the question we don’t know the answer to.

Trading for Sam Bradford puts the question into discussion.  Adrian Peterson is 31.  We all know how running backs historically preform once they hit that age 31 season.

Now, I’m not predicting a down Adrian Peterson year.  I’m not doing that because he’s AP.  Its not smart to doubt him.

However, come next season, its certainly possible AP begins to decline.  Thats not a prediction.  Its just a statement that is based off of the past.

When Teddy comes back next season, and AP is much older than he was this year (Based on miles and how much is body can handle), are the Vikings gonna be the threat we saw them to be before this season?

The Vikings keep talking about Teddy coming back strong for next year.  I hope thats the case.  But why trade for a guy who’s been nothing but a starter (Not necessarily a great one) his entire career?  Especially a starter who throws a fit when he’s not the guy?

If Bradford preforms this year (Again, not a prediction, just going through scenarios here), which would be extremely unlikely, then what do the Vikings do?  They’ve suddenly created a controversy heading into Teddy’s comeback year.  This after pumping up his return a year before.

Its unlikely, but is also a risk thats there.  We know how changes of scenery can help some guys.  Bradford is certainly not the future, or even the guy for this season, but its an interesting test of character and contradictory that the Vikings front office got themselves into.

And what kind of trade was that?  Why is Bradford’s value so high?  How did Philadelphia convince Minnesota to give up so much?

When news of the trade broke, I was hoping I was reading the report wrong.  A first and a 4th rounder for Sam Bradford?  What world is this?  Pitchers at the MLB Trade Deadline?

Its absolutely mind-boggling that Minnesota would give this much up for a replacement.  I get there’s a window (more on that later), but still.  A first rounder for Sam Bradford?  What would Colin Kaepernick get the 49ers in this market?

This is the latest episode in “Wow, the Eagles front office might actually know what its doing!”.  Ok, I won’t go that far.  But they’ve been extremely aggressive in trades ever since Chip Kelly was forced out.  In fact, its kinda similar to when Chip Kelly was running the team.  Kelly was the first GM we’ve seen to make big-time trades.  While the Eagles have wanted to get rid of any memory of Kelly, it seems like they’ve taken some influence from him when it comes to trading.

Why can’t the Vikings accept the fact that this is a lost season?

This is the epitome of this situation.  Teddy went down for the year and the Vikings’ replacement was Shaun Hill.  Sure, Shaun Hill isn’t great, but there’s no reason to try and compete when you have a Super Bowl contender in Green Bay in your division and a lurker in Tampa Bay.  You don’t have the Broncos defense (Minnesota’s D is very good, but not like last year’s Broncos) to carry you to the Super Bowl.  Yes, this was the Vikings year to do really good things.  But injuries happen, and it’s hard to get over.  I understand there’s a window for the Vikings, especially since Adrian Peterson is close to not being the guy anymore.   Vikings fans have been tortured for so long, and unfortunately, for this situation to have a positive outcome, they’re just gonna have to hope.

Moving to the Cowboys, Dallas is faced with a situation that they see far to often, and perhaps this is the last time they face it.

How good is Dak Prescott?

Really good!  Well, okay, I’m exaggerating.  He went in the 4th round of this Spring’s draft, and was on top of my Heisman ballot for half of last year’s college football season.  Prescott has a great arm and strong body, and can avoid tacklers well.  When he runs, he’s a bulldozer.  He isn’t very shifty or fast, but isn’t a guy I’d want to do an Oklahoma drill against.

There’s a chance that Prescott is more accurate than Tony Romo.  Its kinda sad to think about that we might have seen the final four-interception game from Romo.

Prescott has Dez Bryant to throw to, which is really important assuming Dez can stay healthy.  Nothing helps a rookie QB more than having a No.1 target, and the Cowboys have that in Dez.

I think Prescott’s gonna do fine.  But can he play better than the guy he’s replacing?

What are the odds he takes over the job for the rest of the year?

I think they’re really high.  I really believe this job is his to lose.  I mean, he doesn’t have to do it all.

Dallas’ running game has gotten worlds better since DeMarco Murray left in free agency.  I’m not in on Ezekiel Elliot.  He (obviously) went too high, and I just don’t like the pressure put on guys in this situation.  I think its a deadly combination.  But, its not like he’s the only good running back on this roster.  The Cowboys have Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden lined up behind him.  Those are two guys who you can platoon in any other offense.  In a positive light though, the extra boost from Elliot takes pressure off of Prescott.

Week 8 is the return date for Romo.  I think Dallas will have three losses by then (Packers, Bengals, and Redskins).  A 3-3 record probably isn’t enough, but wins isn’t the most important thing.  What if Prescott starts to just come around as Romo returns?  I think the only way he’s not being considered to take over the job is if the losses they suffer in Romo’s absence fall on Prescott.

Is this it for Tony Romo?

Even if Romo returns in Week 8, I think the possibility of Prescott taking over the reins for next season will be a huge topic this offseason.  Romo will be 37 heading into next season, and has missed games due to injuries the past four seasons.  Thats the elephant in the room, and if I’m the Cowboys, I’m forcing Romo to retire this offseason (assuming Prescott isn’t a flaming mess for these six games), similar to the Broncos and Peyton Manning this past offseason.

Even though Romo has four years left on his contract (including this one), this is something the Cowboys have to consider.  First of all, there’s no way Romo is playing out that contract.  He may not be done after this year, but there’s no way he’s playing through the 2019 season.  Secondly…   If there’s a scenario where Prescott plays well in Romo’s absence, but not quite good enough to assume the job from him, then how can you not ignore that Prescott almost took the job from Romo?

Thats probably the most likely scenario.  Prescott plays well, but not quite well enough to take the job.  The season ends (barring result) and Romo’s turning 37 heading into next year.  How can you not think about your future?  How can you not at least give Prescott a shot?  Why would you want to deal with another Romo injury thats practically a given to occur?

At the same time, none of this matters.  Jerry Jones isn’t gonna do that.  He’s gonna extract every last bit (of back bone) out of Romo that he can.  Excited to see how that goes, Jerry.