Like many in the community here, I'm wildly optimistic this time of the year. This year's undrafted free agents and draft class is filled with eventual starters. Several players from last year's class will make contributions and will also be starters down the road.
The fact is, I have so many pet cats this time of year my dogs think I've gone crazy.
Still, I do have one over-riding fear: we couldn't run the football last year. You've all seen the stats. I won't bring them up here and ruin your week. Let me instead point out something positive.
Tony Romo threw the football 40 or more times in a game 8 times. That's right, half his games. Amazingly, he won three of those games.
Let's put Romo's number of attempts in those games in perspective. Let's start with all world Colin Kaepernick. Uh, he didn't throw the ball 40 times in one game. Not one. In fact, he only threw the ball 30 times twice. Guess what? He lost both games. How about Mr. Universe, Robert Griffin III? Zip. In fact, he only broke 30 passes four times and, you guessed it, he lost three of those games. How about that other young wunderkind, Robert Wilson? Well, Mr. Robert only passed the ball 30 times on three occasions. He won one of those games.
I'm not saying those are good quarterbacks. But they all had terrific ground games to work with and didn't have the burden that Tony had of throwing and throwing and throwing the football.
So much for the young guns. What about the hall of fame bound veterans? Let's start with Tom Brady. He only lost four games last year. Guess which ones? That's right, the four where he had to throw the ball 40 or more times. In fairness, he did win three games in which he passed the ball 40 times. He beat the powerful Miami Dolphins, the Jets, and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
What about Aaron Rogers? He only threw the ball 40 times during three games. He lost two of those. How about sure Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning? He lost two games last year. Both were 40 plus pass affairs. In fairness, he did win twice when throwing that often. Still, you get the point. QBs can't be successful throwing the ball 40 or more times a game in eight different games, not even elite quarterbacks. At best, they are half their games. And then only when the sample size is small. I'm guessing Peyton Manning wouldn't have sniffed the playoffs if he had had 8 games where he threw the football 40 or more times.
Romo not only had to throw the ball non-stop, but he only had one game all year where he threw less than 30 passes (he won that game). Worse, he actually threw the ball 50 or more times twice and over 60 times in yet another game.
To put this problem in perspective, go back and look at the running game. We gained 100 yards in only one game,our first, against the Giants. A running back for Dallas gained over 90 yards only once, the loss against Baltimore. 9 times the Cowboys didn't have a back with 50 or more yards. The Cowboys lost six of those games.
I hope we can upgrade the running game this year. I'd love to see Romo throwing 25 passes now and then. He'd go to the Super Bowl, I'm sure.
Did he throw too many picks last year? Sure. Was the interception of back-breaker in the last game against Washington? You bet. But it was a miracle that the Cowboys got anywhere close to 8 and 8 last year and more evidence of the greatness of Tony Romo.