Tony Romo's Burden Will Be Heavy Early In 2014

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys will likely be looking to Tony Romo and the offense to carry the day in the first several weeks of the season.

There has been a lot of discussion here on BTB as well as other Cowboys outlets about how the defense can improve, and how they have decided to be a very young defense depending on athletic ability and speed, combined with the ability to send rotations of athletic pass rushers into the game. However these young guys, many of whom have major question marks, will likely take some time before they can really gel and begin to truly pull their weight as a part of the team despite Rod Marinelli's greatness as a defensive coach.

Because of this a lot of weight will likely fall on the Cowboys offense to keep this team competitive early. The offense will feature four Pro Bowlers from 2013, two additional first-round linemen and several other early-round picks, being led by veteran QB Tony Romo and new passing game coordinator Scott Linehan.

During Peyton Manning's time in Indianapolis, the Colts were designed to win games one way. Peyton would lead an explosive attack early in games and build a lead, and once they had their opponents in one-dimensional pass mode, they could point their rushers at the QB and say "Go!" giving their porous defense a chance to succeed. They had the ability to depend on an efficient passing game to hold the lead.

While Tony Romo is not Peyton Manning, I feel like this is a model the Cowboys can follow. Especially early in the year when they play teams like San Francisco, Tennessee, St. Louis, and Houston who do not have passing games that strike intense fear into opponents and their fans. When you combine this with the quality Dallas has on the offensive line, as well as DeMarco Murray's ability to run the ball, there's a formula for success in there. Making opponents one-dimensional by having a lead can put this defense in position to perform well, and give young guys a clear picture every snap, and could get the Cowboys off to a good start in 2014.

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