Do the Cardinals really make sense for Tony Romo if he leaves the Cowboys?

Nov 15, 2016, 6:19 PM | Updated: Nov 16, 2016, 11:19 am
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Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo conceded his starting quarterback job to rookie Dak Prescott Tuesday in a move to nip distractions at the bud for Dallas as it rises to contender status.

Romo’s emotional speech and stepping aside, however, only adds to speculation that his Dallas career is over. That, of course, means national pundits must look into their crystal balls to determine what might make sense for the quarterback’s future.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter threw out four teams that just might need a veteran quarterback in 2017, and one of those was the Arizona Cardinals.

If Carson Palmer were to decide to walk away from the game after this season, Romo could enter the equation. Arizona has done an excellent job of reviving veterans’ careers.

NBC’s Mike Florio also floated the Cardinals as a fit, as did The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre.

There is some reason all these NFL writers and reporters might consider the Cardinals a landing spot for Romo.

Namely, the Cardinals have a window of opportunity that appears brief. After all, as head coach Bruce Arians has mentioned in the past, this job very well could be his last. If Arizona wants to go for the whole thing even beyond Palmer’s time, Romo would make sense — except that at 36 years old, he’s the same age as Palmer.

Before we go there, two major red flags must be considered.

The first, Schefter and Florio mention. Palmer would likely need to walk away if Romo were to leave the Cowboys, because Romo would hypothetically do so only searching out a starting role. Palmer, if you don’t remember, just added an additional year to his contract, keeping him through the 2018 season.

McIntyre rightly called the contract the “biggest hurdle” to this becoming a reality.

Palmer is coming off a week where he threw for a season-best 376 yards and has his three biggest games by total yardage in the last three games. While the offense hasn’t been what it was a year ago — the receivers and O-line can take much blame here as well — and Palmer is subjected to taking veterans days off more than ever, there isn’t reasonable evidence to show he’s thinking about retiring.

Even looking beyond Palmer, Arizona has alluded to backup quarterback Drew Stanton as a successor.

The second red flag for this to become a reality is fairly obvious: Romo would need to get out of Dallas with three years left after 2016 on his deal.

Anyhow, the Cardinals’ assumed window of opportunity beyond 2016 remains murky because of their many free agents to consider this coming offseason.

The most significant reason to believe the Cardinals might ever want Tony Romo?

They don’t have a young quarterback waiting in the wings.

Neither the Logan Thomas nor the Matt Barkley experiments turned out well. That’s a good enough reason to assume Arizona will look at quarterbacks extensively in the upcoming draft.

To say that it’s a reason to believe Tony Romo is in the front of general manager Steve Keim’s mind in November of 2016? Not so much.

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Do the Cardinals really make sense for Tony Romo if he leaves the Cowboys?