Hold on: Romo to the rescue

IRVING, Texas – Tony Romo has come out of a retirement as a holder, a smart move for the Dallas Cowboys despite the disastrous result of Romo’s last snap in that role.

Romo’s only gaffe as a holder cost the Cowboys a chance to take a late lead in a playoff game, causing Romo to sob in the visiting locker room at Seattle’s Qwest Field after what turned out to be Bill Parcells’ final night on the Dallas sideline. But the Seattle Slip is a distant memory. The Cowboys’ current field goal woes are fresh in folks’ minds, and Romo represents the best solution on the roster.

Punter Mat McBriar has no confidence as a holder. Kicker Nick Folk, who has missed more field goals this season (eight) than his previous two campaigns combined, has no confidence in McBriar to get the ball down in the proper spot with the laces pointed in the right direction.

Romo is the only other player on the roster who has served as a holder in an NFL game. He’s the only player on the roster the coaches believe can fill that role flawlessly. There is minimal risk of injury as a holder, so it makes sense in this instance for the starting quarterback to play a role on special teams.

Romo took most of the snaps as the holder during Wednesday’s practice. Coach Wade Phillips didn’t want to make a definite declaration, but he strongly indicated that Romo would hold Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.

Points are precious in a playoff race. The Cowboys can’t afford to keep giving them away three at a time. Romo is coming to the rescue in a role nobody ever thought he’d have to play again.