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Cowboys QB decision will define season in Tony Romo's absence

The Cowboys have the bye week to decide whether Brandon Weeden should remain the starter while Tony Romo heals from a broken collarbone. AP Photo/Brandon Wade

IRVING, Texas -- At 4 p.m. ET today, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is scheduled to hold his day-after-game news conference. Undoubtedly questions about the quarterback will be at the top of the list.

After Sunday’s 30-6 loss to the New England Patriots, Garrett said the position will be evaluated during the bye week to determine who starts Oct. 25 against the New York Giants between Brandon Weeden or Matt Cassel.

Most of the reactions have fallen into three categories.

Would that make a difference?

Hard to say. The Cowboys are limited offensively without Dez Bryant and Lance Dunbar. The running game has not been productive enough. The outside receivers, Terrance Williams and Devin Street, have not won enough. When they have won, Weeden has elected the safer route.

Can Cassel, who has a 33-38 record as a starter, throw Williams open? Maybe but he can’t know the offense so well to get the Cowboys in and out of the right plays depending on defensive looks. But he has 96 career touchdown passes to 70 interceptions.

Cassel couldn’t possibly be any worse

That should not be how a decision is ultimately made. Garrett likes to take the emotion out of any and all decisions he makes. It’s highly unlikely he will make a proclamation today on the starter against the Giants.

But the decision to make a change should not be based on, "Well, the other guy can’t be worse." It has to be, "The other guy is better."

I told you so

The mere fact Weeden was on the roster in 2014 upset a lot of people. The fact that the Cowboys did not address their backup quarterback position in free agency was upsetting. The fact that they chose not to draft a quarterback for the future was upsetting, even if a rookie had little chance of helping in 2015.

The I-told-you-so crowd ignored the good Weeden did in his first two starts and his relief appearance against the Philadelphia Eagles. He wasn’t spectacular but he wasn’t awful, either. With an 0-3 record as the starter this season, however, nothing will drown out the I-told-you-so crowd.

In 2008, Romo missed three games with a broken pinkie finger. Brad Johnson started all three games but the offense was abysmal. The Cowboys gained 172 yards in their only win without Romo -- 13-9 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As they entered a Week 10 meeting with the Giants, they toyed with the idea of starting Brooks Bollinger but stayed with Johnson. In the first half, Johnson completed 5 of 11 passes for 71 yards and was intercepted twice. Bollinger started the second half and his first pass was intercepted. New York turned the takeaway into a touchdown less than two minutes into the third quarter for a 28-7 lead.

For the Cowboys to make the move to Cassel, it has to be about what he is, not what Weeden isn’t.

There is no way of knowing for sure Cassel will be better and the offense will improve, but these are the tough decisions Garrett has to make.

The season is on the line.