Mac Engel takes an in-depth look at the 2-minute drill, something Tony Romo and the Cowboys seem to specialize in. There are the two memorable games, Buffalo and Detroit, where we used it to win the game. But we shouldn’t forget that Romo has used the 2-minute drill going into halftime to put points on the board on more than a few occasions. He really does shine in those pressure situations. Engel breaks down the 2-minute drill from each offensive unit’s perspective. Besides all the stuff we regularly think about for QB’s in the drill, backup Brad Johnson says the key is to get the initial first down. That changes the whole complexion of the drive.
The key for all of it is the first down. If Romo can get the first one, things begin to move.
"I can't explain it," Johnson said. "You get that first one, and you can rack them up. It's hard to get that first one, but once you do [the defense] is on their heels and here it goes. It's a momentum deal."
That is actually a phenomenon I’ve noticed. Whenever a team gets rolling, it seems they are hard to stop. How many times have we yelled at the defense to quit playing the prevent defense in those situations because the only thing it prevents is a win?
Everybody has to listen to Romo as he calls the plays at the line, even the offensive line.
There is the perception that the line just runs the exact same blocking scheme on every single two-minute snap. Not so.
It all depends on what Romo calls. Depending on what he sees at the line of scrimmage, the technique the line will use to block and the direction can change.
Then there’s the receivers, who have to run routes that get them open and get them out of bounds. I was very impressed with the way the Cowboys receivers were getting out of bounds against the Lions, especially MB3 and Witten. There can be some improvisation on how you run the route, but you better get to the correct spot at the end of the route.
In the case of Hurd's 16-yard catch, he knew he was the primary receiver. As far as the route, it was more improvisation than design; but he ended up where he was supposed to be, as did the ball.
Here's how good Tony Romo is:
With three games left in the season, he's on pace to throw 43 touchdown passes.
Peyton Manning, Dan Marino and Tom Brady have thrown that many. And nobody else.
A Hall of Famer and two future Hall of Famers.
Because we just don’t have enough debates about the drafting (or non-drafting) of Darren McFadden in 2008, Lenny P. at ESPN throws some fuel on the fire. After mentioning or two first-round picks as bait to move up, he adds this:
And the Dallas roster has just enough depth at a few positions that Jones probably could afford to throw a pretty good player into the mix of any trade proposal. The Miami Dolphins, who can clinch the top overall pick with a loss at Baltimore on Sunday, are more than one player away from even basic respectability, and might bite at the opportunity to turn the top overall choice into a draft bonanza.
Plus, the Dolphins already have invested heavily in a tailback, Ronnie Brown, and might not need McFadden, especially if Brown is making good progress in his rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament surgery.
And as good as [Marion] Barber is, most scouts don't rate him in the class of McFadden, who some suggest will be as good as Adrian Peterson, this year's running back phenomenon.
Let the fur fly.