Glass half-full: Romo injury may have positive impact on play-calling

Glass half-full: Romo injury may have positive impact on play-calling

Credit: Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) is sacked by Washington Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) during the second half as the Dallas Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins 24-23 Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013 at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. (Michael Ainsworth/Dallas Morning News/MCT via Getty Images)

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by ANDREW TOBOLOWSKY

WFAA Sports

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 5:48 PM

You have to be a ridiculous person to think the Cowboys are better off without Tony Romo. If the haters have any logic left to them they’ll appreciate that they only thing they really hate about Romo is his interceptions and Romo only has ten of them---this injury insures he’s tied, this season, for the best TD:INT ratio in Cowboys history.

You’ll say it’s WHEN rather than how many, but it’s silly to think there could be enough whens, or that when you foist on a QB as MANY whens as the Cowboys’ woeful defense does for Romo, who ALWAYS has an opportunity to throw a key INT because only a great QB could even stay ahead of the other team’s scoring.

Still, it’s possible that Romo’s injury - if reports are true that he will miss the remainder of the season -may be good for the Cowboys’ play-calling, which has been one of their bigger problems this year, and that may be a big deal. With Orton, and a rusty Orton, back in the pocket, the Cowboys will have to turn decisively to DeMarco Murray, little as they like it. And it’s possible that will bear fruit.

After all, and for all that he’s given indications that he can occasionally make poor football decisions (witness his transformation of a third-and-one to a fourth-and-eight, at the crucial moment in last game), the evidence suggests that DeMarco may be every bit as good as the Eagles’ vaunted LeSean McCoy, the NFL’s leading rusher. He’s had nearly 100 fewer attempts, but he’s scored as many TDs and his 5.4 yards per attempt is better than McCoy’s 5.1.

The Eagles’ run defense is, unfortunately, not nearly as bad as their pass defense and it’s hard to predict how Orton will perform. Never a special QB, his competence has probably been eroded somewhat by his time holding a clipboard. You like that he’s a veteran, and that the Eagles’ passing defense is so very bad, nearly Cowboys-esque. But, with Murray healthy, there’s at least a little hope, since reliance on him may also give the Eagles’ explosive offense less time to have the Cowboys’ defense in their sights.

The fact that Romo’s injury seems like such a big deal, is intimately connected to the fact that no matter what we may say, sports fans don’t tend to give up until the math says they absolutely have to. There’s absolutely nothing about this team that suggests it could win a playoff game with or without Romo, but while that’s easy to say, it’s impossible to give in to till it happens.

The Cowboys are not better without Romo. Far from it. But, if their offensive problems are somewhat attributable to poor play-calling (whoever it comes from), not being able to rely on the quarterback may shift things in a more pleasing direction. Whether that, by itself, is nearly enough will be determined Sunday, at 8:30 eastern.

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