During the NFL Draft, Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he expects quarterback Tony Romo to be more involved in the offense. I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one who was caught off-guard by this.
Maybe Jerry was trying to justify why he signed Romo to a six-year, $108 million contract last month. Both caught some heat on the deal, pointing to the Cowboys failures to reach the playoffs over the last three years. Right or wrong, questions were raised on whether that was a good idea.
According to Jerry, Romo will have more input in offensive game-planning throughout the week and play calling during games. He was even called in before the draft to review and offer input on some of the players the Cowboys were considering, and the team used its first three draft picks on offensive players.
So what does that mean? It appears the Cowboys are all-in with Romo, sink or swim with their franchise quarterback. He did put up some nice numbers last season, throwing for 4,903 yards and 28 touchdowns. But with the good comes the bad, as in bad turnovers. Romo has shown a tendency of throwing the wrong ball at the wrong time, like those interceptions in the loss to the Washington Redskins in the Week 17 “Win Or Go Home” game last season. In the minds of Cowboys Nation, his “Brett Favre-like” tendency of trying to force the play, that “what are you doing” moment, has caused more harm than good.
In Favre’s case, it was all forgotten, or at least forgiven, once he won a Super Bowl. The Cowboys are banking on that happening with Romo. There’s no question he has the skill set to do it, whether he has the skill players around him is another question for another time.
But did Jerry put more pressure on Romo with those comments? Possibly. Intentional or not, it does come off as sounding like his quarterback hasn’t been involved up to this point, which isn’t the case. And it certainly didn’t help with the questioning of Romo’s commitment during the offseason, which in my opinion isn’t fair. Hey, who doesn’t like hitting the golf course during your time off? Do you really expect him to sit and watch game film 24/7, 365? Seriously. Of course, a playoff run and Lombardi Trophy erases all of this.
Many question whether Romo is right guy to lead the Cowboys back to the promise land. Some even question if he has the “it” factor, the ability to move to the next level. You’ve seen glimpses of “it”, just not when it counts, at least in the minds of Cowboys faithful.
However, Romo is still in his prime at 33 years old, so all this can change. And Jerry is showing us that he has enough confidence in his quarterback for another six years. That message was loud and clear.
The Cowboys believe in Romo, do you?
Written by C. James