Cowboys mailbag: No to Romo, Witten trade

December, 24, 2010
12/24/10
9:30
AM ET
IRVING, Texas -- For the first time, I open up the mailbag with five questions. Here we go:

Q. Your article on how the Cowboys should have called in some "project" to play quarterback after the [Tony] Romo injury is odd to me. Jason Garrett is trying to keep his job as a head coach and you want him to call in an unknown quarterback to help him do it? I don't get it. Anybody in Garrett's position would play Kitna too. And as a Cowboys fan, that's exactly what I want him to do. Give himself the best chance to succeed, not just throw in the towel. I see your point about building for the future, but in a year where the team had Super Bowl expectations, Jerry Jones isn't pulling the plug and giving up no matter what. -- Ryan, Acworth, Ga.

A.
I never said they should play the project quarterback. I don’t think they should play Stephen McGee. What I wrote was that they missed the chance to look for another quarterback by keeping Romo on the active roster too long. They could have had a guy in here to help in practice, see if he has something for the future. You can play to win the game, in my best Herm Edwards imitation, but you can also have an eye on the future in terms of developing players in practice. I think they missed a chance there to look down the road.

Q. Why don't the Cowboys do a blockbuster Herschel Walker deal. This is going to be a rich player draft and if you make [Jason] Garrett head coach, you know he can make that offense click no matter the QB … The untouchable players on that defense are [DeMarcus] Ware, [Orlando] Scandrick, [Sean] Lee and [Jay] Ratliff. Saying all that, can you consider trading Tony Romo and Jason Witten in a blockbuster package deal with any team in the league? -- Chris, Fort Worth, Texas

A.
This is certainly outside-the-box thinking. I can’t see it happening. Romo is the present and future quarterback of this team, and Witten is one of the best tight ends in the NFL. They are part of the solution, not the problem here. You need a quarterback to win, and you would take some steps back for a year or two if you go with a rookie. You don’t have a replacement for Witten. There are few tight ends in the NFL that can do what he can do, and I think he’ll be a Cowboy for as long as he wants to be.

Q. Jason Garrett has done pretty well, but I am wondering why no one mentions his clock management. He bungled this again on Sunday at the end of the first half when they were using a huddle INSIDE of the 2-minute mark. In the end, [David] Buehler bailed him out with a long field goal, but they constantly waste time in the 2-minute drill since Garrett took over. Happened in the Giants game, too, and I think the Indy game. No one is talking about it. -- Brian Carwana, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

A.
I think it’s been OK. Not great, but OK. He has had some head scratchers, but I do like how he manages the game overall as a head coach. Every coach seems to struggle with clock management, especially Andy Reid. Garrett takes into account a lot of circumstances. He’ll take a chance when necessary, but he will play more conservatively. Maybe he is a little gun shy from what happened at Washington in the opener. The more experience Garrett gets, the better I think he will be.

Q. Do you think Tony Romo is the right fit for this team because I don’t. Will you please explain how Jon Kitna is able to show more drive and better leader skills than Romo. Heck, the team plays harder for an old backup QB who's well past his prime than they do for Romo. And is it me or is Romo not a down the field quarterback? -- Ben, Dallas

A.
Romo is the right fit for this team, sorry to disagree with you, Ben. Romo was 38-17 before this season as a starter, so I don’t know how you can say the team plays harder for Kitna than it does Romo. And the leadership thing, to me, is such a non-topic. Romo has improved as a leader over the years. He has taken guys to task more and he has done a better job of taking himself to task. As far as the downfield passing game, you must be seeing a different game than me. Kitna has not taken as many shots down the field in recent weeks. Romo has a career yard per attempt average of close to 8 yards, which ranks up there with the top quarterbacks.

Q. Me and most of my Dallas fans friends think that Igor Olshanky hasn't lived up to his potential, but yet several weeks ago, he called out the offense. Was this the pot calling the kettle black? What do you think? Should he be let go next year in favor of younger talent? -- Jym Concha, Santa Fe, New Mexico

A.
Olshansky was better last year than he has been this year, but I don’t think you let him go. You have to look at the rest of the roster. Marcus Spears, Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher will be free agents after the season. The Cowboys cannot afford to cut a defensive end until they have some players fill out the position. Olshansky will have to rebound in 2011, like a lot of defensive players in 2011.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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