I rolled over Tuesday morning and silenced my alarm. It was 5:10 and I was hoping to steal a few more minutes. When I finally dragged myself out of bed 20 minutes later, I had a text message from a friend at the network lamenting that there was breaking news before the sun had even risen over the Sierra Nevadas. Alas, Tony Romo had decided to call it quits to make a move to the broadcast booth.
I wasn't sure what to write about when it came to Romo. It really changes nothing for fantasy managers. The Cowboys still have their starting quarterback. And so do the Houston Texans ... for whatever that's worth. It doesn't change anything about Dez Bryant or DeAndre Hopkins' fantasy values. Ezekiel Elliott and Lamar Miller will probably see the same workload as they did the previous year.
(It does make me wistful when I hear Phife Dawg talk about the Tony Romo-to-Jason Witten connection. sigh Rest in peace, Malik.)
You'll read and hear plenty of breathless Romo tributes over the next few days. Many of them will be glossy-eyed, sepia-toned retrospectives of the times he played hurt and led the 'Boys to victory. They'll chide all of the people who never gave Romo his full due or used him as an easy punchline every time he threw a late-game interception to seal a loss. Admittedly, I enjoyed being part of that crowd. What can I say? Low-hanging fruit is just as tasty as the fruit at the top of the tree, but with far less work involved.
On the other side, there will be plenty of people who point out the untimely interceptions. The nagging injuries that either limited him on the field of kept him off of it completely. The 2-4 record in the playoffs. The fact that rookie Dak Prescott took the same cast of characters to an 11-1 start and eventually a 13-3 record and a first-round playoff bye.
It's fitting that the discussion around Romo now that his career is over will sound pretty similar to what it was when he was still playing. The reality is that he probably received both praise and blame in extreme doses. It's nothing new for most NFL quarterbacks. Though, like most things in Texas, the talk around Romo remained outsized. When we've all had the luxury of time and distance, we'll probably mostly remember him as a good (possibly very good) player who continually knocked on the door of the elites but never had the door opened.
But you came for the fantasy -- though I appreciate you staying through the Romo rant -- so I've put together a list of winners and losers from the Romo retirement.
Winner -- Dak Prescott: This was a no-brainer. It's not like Prescott was in danger of losing his starting job, but this means there won't be another season of speculating that the team could make a change at quarterback every time Prescott has an on-field hiccup. It also means we won't have random Romo sideline cutaways whenever Dak makes a big play. So maybe, the real winner is all of us. Yay, us!
Loser -- The "wait on a QB" crowd:Tony Romo was the patron saint of The Church of the Late Round Quarterback. As a guy who spent the last several seasons projected to be a fringe QB1, he was a staple of the 10th round in plenty of redraft leagues and provided plenty of value at that position. Now as Romo applies for late-round fantasy sainthood, we need a new quarterback to take up the mantle. Matthew Stafford, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Winner -- Tom Savage: I live in a world where I'd like to believe Tom Savage had Dak Prescott on speed dial asking about what it was like to have Romo's shadow attempting to blot your shine. Of course, Savage would have needed to have a little shine in the first place, but you get the point. Now the Texans' presumed starter can compete for the No. 1 gig unimpeded with the likes of Brandon Weeden (yes, really) and any quarterbacks the Texans might draft.
Loser -- Jason Witten: This has nothing to do with football. I just imagine Witten going to lunch at training camp and having to find a new table to sit at. Not that he wouldn't be accepted by any other members of the team, but those ham sandwiches and bags of barbecue chips just won't be the same without swapping tales of playing golf and mowing the lawn.
So that's it. He's gone. We won't have Antonio Romo to kick around anymore. I guess we'll have to find a new quarterback to drench in hyperbole. You thought this would change? One acrobat doesn't stop a circus. The show goes on.
Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who is baffled by post-facto appreciation of people and things. Hence his confusion at people who suddenly got nostalgic about the horror that was Candlestick Park. Google it, kids. Hit him with your tales of weird stadium experiences or fantasy football questions on Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, good for you. Follow him on Snapchat at marcasg9.