Washington Preps For Showdown With Romo

The "Gunslinger" who is keeping Redskins defenders up at night - Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

While many have been critical of Tony Romo after Sunday's loss to Denver, the Washington Redskins realize what a threat the Dallas QB can be.

Imagine if you will, you are a Washington Redskins defensive back (yeah, I know the thought can turn your stomach, but indulge me for just a moment) trying to enjoy your Sunday off by watching some football; you are watching the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos with the knowledge that both teams who participated in that shootout are in the near future for your football team. That is exactly the situation that Washington cornerback Josh Wilson found himself in this past weekend. He found himself thinking "that looks like a long day at the office."

For Wilson and his fellow Redskins, one of those long days will come this weekend as the Redskins travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys. After Dallas put up over 500 yards passing, the Washington defenders know that they are in for a real test. Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield knows what lies ahead.

"It’s hard to play defense in this league nowadays. There’s a lot of points being scored, a lot of yardage. And the rules are tougher than ever, combined with the schemes being more advanced than ever. It’s just hard to get stops, especially against a talented offense.

We’re gonna try and make them one-dimensional. But if the one dimension can throw for 500 [yards] and five touchdowns, it’s not really ideal. So it’s tough. It’s tough." - Barry Cofield

Cofield went on to give his opinion of Tony Romo and what he brings to the field on gameday. "His willingness to extend plays, his ability to make those throws from any type of body position and his trust he has in his receivers make him a tough test."

Speaking for a secondary that has been challenged all season long, Wilson summed up what the Skins can expect when they face off against Romo and his corps of talented pass catchers.

"It makes our job incredibly hard. Any time you play a mobile quarterback, it’s difficult. You don’t per se see him as a read-option quarterback. But he knows how to get away from the pressure, kind of move and buy himself time. And Dez [Bryant] and all their receivers know how to do these scramble routes and get open, as you saw last week." -Josh Wilson

Wilson stated that guys like Dez Bryant have a knack for lulling defenders to sleep by slowing down pass routes and then suddenly exploding into action. On Sunday he will have to be on his toes or the Cowboys passing attack will make him pay the price for his mistakes. As Wilson said, the Dallas offense has the ability to make something out of nothing if a defense gives them an opportunity.

For Washington, everything will have to begin up front. The secondary has been an ongoing weakness for the Redskins and the Dallas attack will not give them a break this week. Tony Romo is the type of quarterback who is willing to extend plays, as a result the pass rushers will have to adapt their strategy to match his play. Rotation is going to play a key role in how the Redskins try to defend Dallas.

"Normally the ball is out of the quarterback’s hands in two or three seconds. But he’s willing to extend the play. So you have to be willing to extend the play. You have to rotate. Guys are going to get tired chasing him around for 50, 60 snaps. You’ve just got to trust the guy behind you. You’ve got to trust that your backup will come in and do the job." - Barry Cofield

The Washington defense which has struggled this season knows that, like Josh Wilson said, it is going to be a long day at the office for them. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will give them the best game plan he can but it will be up to the guys on the field to execute his strategy.

"We’re gonna have our plan. We’re gonna go out there and try to execute. We’ve got to make big plays when they arise." - Barry Cofield

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