Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Dallas Cowboys Need a Change and it Starts With Carson Palmer

  Carson Palmer #9 Of The Cincinnati Bengals Throws
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have to be tired of losing, no matter how good they've gotten at it over the years. Owner Jerry Jones wants another Super Bowl championship banner hanging in his new stadium, though he hasn't done a lot to show that by the moves he and the front office have made.

Chan Gailey, Bill Parcells, Wade Phillips and now Jason Garrett. Four coaches, one playoff victory in the last 16 seasons. The Cowboys need a change and they need one quick.

No matter how many fans you talk to, most will tell you that they're tired of seeing mediocre football being played each and every Sunday. They're tired of taking to the radio airwaves on Monday morning and calling for Jones to step down as the general manager or for the head coach to be fired.

They know there are changes that need to be made but one that seems to be argued over more than any other is whether or not the team can get anywhere with quarterback Tony Romo. There are some that will defend him and others that want to trade him out of town for another "future of the franchise." The only thing most fans won't be able to give you, at least realistically, is who they want to take his place. Who should be the quarterback of the future for the Dallas Cowboys?

Well, since this is me talking I'll give you a name that's more than realistic. In fact, with the kind of talent the Cowboys have on offense, he's the best option they have available to them. Cincinnati Bengals' quarterback Carson Palmer.

Sure he's not a free agent but he wants out of Cincinnati. So much so that he's already put his house up for sale. Why do I think he's the best option for Dallas? He's certainly a better backup option than Jon Kitna, wouldn't you agree? Though it wouldn't be the first time he and Palmer have crossed paths, as the elder Kitna was the starter in Cincinnati during Palmer's rookie season in 2003.

While I understand that he isn't going to want to be a backup, he might do it for a team with this kind of talent especially if he can be convinced of being part of a championship team. It's not going to be easy for a guy who's been a starter most of his career to all the sudden being a backup to a guy that I wouldn't consider to be in the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks.

In fact, I would argue Palmer is the better of the two between him and Romo. You can hate me all you want for that opinion, but that's what makes debating the topic so much fun.

The Bengals' quarterback doesn't exactly have success in the playoffs but he hasn't exactly had the kind of players around him to get him to the point where he can prove himself.

The team did get there back in 2005 but thanks to a low hit Kimo von Oelhoffen, Palmer suffered a severe ACL and MCL injury that ended not only his playoff run but also kept him out of the entire 2006 season.

We can talk all we want about guys like Chad Ocho Cinco and Terrell Owens being on the team in 2010, but as Cowboy fans know all too well, having guys like that on your roster doesn't exactly make you a better team. Owens had quite the opposite effect when he played in Dallas under Bill Parcells.

Now that the Jason Garrett era has started at Cowboys Stadium, there are certain things that need to be done in order for this team to get back to the Super Bowl. But not only get back to the big game, but win it.

I haven't exactly been the strongest supporter of Garrett, and won't be until he proves he can handle the job, but if he's really the man some say he is, maybe he can bring some discipline into the locker room and onto the field.

The players need someone they can believe in, a coach that's going to go to bat for them and not leave them hanging in front of the media and fans.

What he also needs is a quarterback that can be not only a leader in the position but also a leader vocally on the field and in the locker room.

Palmer has done that on several occasions in Cincinnati and he can do it again in Dallas. The Cowboys need a guy that can go out each and every Sunday and know how to win games. Though Romo has done his fair share of that since he became the starter, his regular season numbers are really all he has to show for himself.

The Cowboys' quarterback will tell you that he's not going to be your prototypical outspoken leader that's going to call out his teammates when they need to be chewed out. While he might be his own man and walks to the beat of his own drum, sometimes the team needs to most visual person on the team to be the one doing the most talking.

Sure guys like Jason Witten and Roy Williams can talk all they want, but when you think of other team leaders in the NFL you think of guys like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers not Dallas Clark, Austin Collie or Greg Jennings.

This team has a chance to do something that will shock the fans and players alike. They have a chance to breathe new life into a team that badly needs it.

We can argue about Tony Romo's worth or potential as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys but how long are fans, as well as Jerry Jones, willing to wait for that potential to make itself known? How many years are they going to put up with a single playoff win?

If they're really serious about putting a championship team together, it needs to start at the quarterback position and a guy that can make the players around him better.

Doing that will mean parting ways with Romo and bringing in a guy to take them to the next step in the future of this franchise.

Make the deal with Cincinnati and begin the Carson Palmer era in Dallas. The sooner they do it, the faster they can bring excitement back to Cowboys' Stadium and earn back the name "America's Team."    

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