January 20, 2017

Where to go for Romo + Conference final picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

The Cowboys’ season has come to an end at the hands of the utterly amazing Aaron Rodgers and now we get the biggest question of the off-season: What’s next for Tony Romo?

With Dak Prescott proving that he can lead this team into the future, it seems like there isn’t much left for Romo in Dallas, especially if he wants to get some playing time in before retirement and a TV job beckons.

While the Cowboys would love to keep Romo around as the best insurance policy in the league, the cost doesn’t add up and there is value in the trade market for a guy that’s still better than half of the QBs in the league.

There are plenty of teams that should consider dealing for Romo, but only a few make sense.

While there are some teams with obvious QB needs like Cleveland, San Francisco and Chicago, a move there wouldn’t make much sense for a veteran in his twilight years looking for a ring. There’s barely a shot of any of those teams making the playoffs, let alone contending for a title. The New York Jets could probably make the playoffs with Romo, but we doubt he’d want to deal with playing in that spotlight.

Buffalo has an outside chance as well, but that’s another dicey situation that looks like it will be the start of a rebuild.

Of the playoff teams, Houston is in a real pickle of a situation at QB with Brock Osweiler locked into one of the most overpaying contracts in the league. Osweiler showed exactly what he’s capable of against New England last week – in the worst possible way. With Romo under centre, J.J. Watt returning and an easy division to conquer, the Texans should be a bonafide contender. The real question is whether the Cowboys would deal Romo to their cross-state rival.

The Denver Broncos are just a year removed from the winning the Super Bowl, have one of the league’s best defences and a tricky situation at QB. They also have a new coach coming in and could look for a fresh start at the most pivotal position. Adding Romo would get the Broncos offence back on pace with it counterpart and could vault the Mile High team back into the playoffs. Mid-season reports were also that Denver is Romo’s preferred destination, for what that’s worth.

A real wild-card could be the Kansas City Chiefs. This team has done really well the past two seasons and you have to wonder what kind of upgrade in the passing game that Romo would provide over Alex Smith. The only question is whether Andy Reid is willing to move on from Smith and change up his playbook a bit to suit a more trigger-happy QB like Romo.

Expect the Romo storyline to be the big news of the summer, especially leading up to the draft as Dallas tries to navigate this delicate situation with one of the team’s most loved players.

The lines are from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPs.

ATLANTA -4.5 over Green Bay

The Packers and Aaron Rodgers have been on an incredible run, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s about to come to an end. The Falcons are every bit as explosive on offence and three of Green Bay’s top four receivers are banged up and questionable to play. With a running game that’s very hit-or-miss with Ty Montgomery leading the way, the Pack could actually have trouble moving the ball at the Georgia Dome. Matt Ryan had an MVP-calibre season and shouldn’t be overlooked in comparison to Rodgers’ greatness. Julio Jones will play, although on the limp, but Atlanta’s running game can keep the pace much better than its opponent can. While many expect both teams to put up a load of points, we think it will actually be s more one-sided affair, with the Falcons flying to Houston.

NEW ENGLAND -6 over Pittsburgh

After some early week non-stories about social media in the locker room, we’re finally getting down to business with these two rivals. The Steelers and Pats have been around the top of the AFC for more than a decade and this game could be a classic. The big factor here is that the Steelers aren’t the same team on the road, especially on offence. Heck, they didn’t even score a TD in last week’s win over K.C. Coming up one of the best defensive coaches ever doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in taking Big Ben to actually punch one in this weekend. On the other side of the ball, the Steelers defence has been getting better by the week, but will it be able to actually get to Tom Brady, who releases the ball quicker than most QBs? We think that, ultimately, home-field advantage is too much here and the Pats will be back in the Super Bowl.

Last week: 4-0

This playoffs: 6-2

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