Tony Romo‘s retirement and subsequent move into broadcasting threw a wrench into the Houston Texans‘ plans for this season – if nearly every NFL analyst is to be believed, at least.

Romo had been linked to the Texans so thoroughly that it seemed like a done deal. It was a perfect fit, the thinking was. An easy move inside Texas to a team with a stacked defense and formidable weapons for Romo to throw to. He could be the missing piece on a Super Bowl contender and end his career on a high note.

The Texans seemed open to the idea, trading a 2018 second-round draft pick away to get Brock Osweiler (and his hefty salary) off their books and, ostensibly, clear space for Romo.

But, barring an about-face on Romo’s part, it won’t happen. And that leaves the Texans in a sticky situation.

Tom Savage is now the Texans’ presumed starter. The 2014 fourth-round pick took over for the completely ineffective Osweiler in Week 15 last season and likely would have started for the Texans in the playoffs had he not suffered a concussion.


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The Texans are reportedly high on Savage, but his limited tape suggests he’s far from a special player. He completed 63 percent of his 73 pass attempts last season for 461 yards without throwing a touchdown.

Behind Savage on the Texans’ depth chart is Brandon Weeden. Enough said.

The team has to add passing talent, and unless the Texans decide to lure Jay Cutler out of his quasi-retirement, sign Colin Kaepernick (unlikely, since team owner Bob McNair made a sizable donation to Donald Trump’s campaign), or swing another blockbuster trade, that talent will have to come via the draft.

That’s an uncomfortable spot to be in for the Texans, who will select 25th overall.

It’s possible the consensus top-three quarterback prospects will be off the board by the time the Texans are on the clock at No. 25. If they aren’t, the Texans will be an easy target for teams seeking a quarterback to leapfrog.

Houston could also try to trade up for a passer, but without that 2018 second-round pick to offer, they have less ammo to pull it off.

The worst-case scenario for the Texans isn’t difficult to envision: Deshaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky, and DeShone Kizer are all off the board by 25 and the Texans don’t feel comfortable that their fourth-rated passer will be available when they are back on the clock at No. 57. So, they reach – perhaps by a full round – to ensure their Super Bowl hopes don’t rest entirely on Savage’s shoulders.

Bizarrely, the Texans haven’t drafted a quarterback in the first three rounds since Rick Smith was named general manager in 2006. That will probably change this spring, but the problem is that the rest of the NFL knows it.

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