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Manning a Cowboy? Let's at least play around with that idea

This may be less likely to happen than a job swap between Daybreak co-anchor Ron Corning and Face the Nation moderator Bob Schieffer.

But in this Dallas Cowboys-centric environment, it's irresistible fun to weigh the plusses and minuses of Peyton Manning coming this way and Tony Romo going thataway.

So let's throw out some points and counterpoints while always remembering that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is obsessed with two things in life -- winning another Super Bowl and filling his palatial Cowboys Stadium to the brim with high-priced ticket buyers.

CON -- Manning will soon be 36, and is still recovering from a career-threatening neck injury. Will he ever be the same again?

PRO -- An even older Brett Favre worked near miracles for the quarterback-needy Minnesota Vikings, taking them to the precipice of a fifth Super Bowl appearance before reverting back to bad Brett and throwing a killer interception against the New Orleans Saints in their classic January 2010 NFC championship game. Manning obviously would have to prove he's fit before anyone will sign him. But if he's even 90 percent good to go, that's more than good enough.

CON -- Romo is still a bit shy of his 32nd birthday. He really tries hard and knows the Cowboys system through and through. Plus, Jerry says the team currently has the talent to contend for the Super Bowl.

PRO -- Jerry would say that if Ryan Leaf were still taking snaps behind center. Romo in fact may have a mental barrier at this point. And can the team's possible heir apparent, Stephen McGee, really learn all that much from watching him for a few more years? With Manning he'd be learning from a proven zen master who's never met a defense he didn't love to dissect.

CON -- Manning would want to be his own play-caller, just like he's always been. But Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is the play caller, and has said he can't see giving that up.

PRO -- Besides his colorless personality, one of the consistent knocks on Garrett has been his play-calling. He's too hot, he's too cold, he seldom seems to be just right. With Manning, you've got Zubin Mehta orchestrating the offense. He may be the last of a breed, but choosing Manning over Garrett as a play caller is a no-brainer.

CON -- Romo is far more mobile than Manning. And with last season's Swiss cheese offensive line, Romo made the most of what he had -- which usually wasn't enough time to throw long downfield.

PRO -- Good point. Manning has a quicker release than Romo, but the offensive line would have to be seriously upgraded to keep him from getting killed. Given just a little more time, though, Manning could make optimum use of an already talented receiving corps that includes Jason Witten, Miles Austin, Laurent Robinson and the immensely gifted but still undisciplined Dez Bryant. I'd envision Manning working wonders with Bryant in particular. He wouldn't dare run a bad route with the imposing Manning waiting to verbally tear him up. And Bryant would learn that when he's where he's supposed to be, the ball will be there, too.

CON -- Romo has put in a lot of hard work and knows how important a Super Bowl appearance will be to his Cowboys legacy. He's still in his prime years, and will only get better if the team around him measures up.

PRO -- Maybe. Or maybe he's fated to become the next -- you know where we're going -- Danny White. Except that White took the Cowboys to three straight NFC championship games while Romo has won just a lone playoff game in those few seasons the Cowboys have actually qualified for the post-season.

It's true that Manning is only 9-10 in post-season competition. But he's won a Super Bowl and might have won another had the Saints not turned 2010's XLIV edition around with a daring onside kick to open the second half.

CON -- Jerry Jones would be mortgaging the future in the slim hope that a battered, aging but legendary quarterback could somehow get his team to the promised land before the Jones kids take over the Cowboys.

PRO -- Really? What future? Still, the Cowboys may in fact represent Manning's best option. Does he really want to go to the Jets, the Cardinals, the Seahawks, the Redskins or the Dolphins? None of those teams in reality is any closer than the Cowboys to a Super Bowl. And with Jones signing the checks, Manning would be playing in a controlled climate stadium for the world's most famous football franchise. There's no doubt he'd listen hard if Jerry ever came calling.

CON -- It ain't gonna happen. So go back to reviewing your piddling little teevee programs.

PRO -- Hey, I used to be my high school newspaper's sports editor and have loved sports all my life. So this is my two cents, and welcome to it.

EPILOGUE -- The more I think about it, the more I think this could work. Manning drops back after changing the play at the line of scrimmage. He pump fakes, looks left, pivots and hits Bryant in full stride on a crossing route over the middle. Man, that kid runs a beautiful route. And he's going to go all the way.

Yeah, right. But how about your thoughts? Strictly Fantasy Football, or is Manning in a Dallas uniform a vision worth pursuing?