Yesterday it was announced that Tony Romo was done for the season with a back injury. Before that, his Dallas Cowboys were favored by 2.5 points in their NFC East winner-take-all showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles. They are now seven point underdogs, a ridiculous 9.5 point line movement.
Romo, who is an excellent quarterback, has been saddled by one of the worst defenses in league history this year, and was one loss away from completing a rather impressive December collapse, as many people seem to think he is always responsible for. While this, of course, isn't entirely true, he hasn't exactly been blameless in late season failures by the Cowboys in years past. With this in mind, there is no way that Tony Romo should be worth 9.5 points to the spread.
Let's face it, if you were going to lay the 2.5 with the Cowboys prior to the announcement that Romo wouldn't be playing, you're going to take the seven points without him. Conversely, if you were going to take the points with the Eagles, you're probably going to lay the touchdown with them. At least, you should do this, because one player just isn't that important to the outcome of a football game the vast majority of the time, regardless of what position they play.
While the above doesn't apply to the demigods of the game such as Peyton Manning and, um, probably pretty much just Peyton Manning, Tony Romo isn't in that category, even though he is very good at playing quarterback. I may be giving way too much credit to Kyle Orton here, but I don't think that a 9.5 point line movement is warranted here.
(I would have taken the points with Philly previously, and I would have laid the touchdown whether Romo was playing or not. I love the Eagles in this spot.)