The Dallas Cowboys didn't make a lot of player personnel changes this offseason. Instead they opted for restructuring their coaching staff and the way they handle their responsibilities. Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli are charged with converting a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 playing Kiffin's Tampa-2 scheme. Bill Callahan has stepped into the play-calling role on offense, leaving Jason Garrett more freedom to be involved with the whole team, and concentrate on game day decisions.
But there's been one other "change" and that one will be interesting to watch. Just how much of a role will Tony Romo play in running the offense, not just for the few second that a play lasts, but in the week long preparation and in the 35 seconds or so in between actual plays during a game? The Cowboys have talked about Romo having much more input this season into the offense, especially now that Jerry Jones dropped some major cash on him and famously said he'll be working Peyton Manning-type hours.
Here on the eve of training camp, Romo addressed that scenario. In an interview with a Wisconsin paper, the reporter describes Romo as being cautious when speaking about his new role. Choosing his words carefully.
"I just think I’ll be very ...," Romo started before changing course. "As quarterback, through the experiences you’ve had, you just understand what defenses are trying to do and you gain a very high understanding of football concepts and what you want to do. "I think here going forward, I’ll just be more involved in game-planning. There are certain things I really believe can help us that we’re going to do some of that. It’s a collective group effort and I think we’re all going to go in there and go to work."
Here Romo is saying game-planning during the week. Which is fine, that can probably only help. But what I'd really be interested in is seeing him with more of a role in the actual play-calling. He's supposedly working Peyton Manning-type hours, so let's give him some Peyton Manning-type control during a game.
Many have observed, and there are numbers to back it up, that the Cowboys function well in the 2-minute and 4-minute offense. When they are hurrying a little, and Romo is calling plays in the huddle or at the line, the Cowboys have carved up defenses. I wouldn't advocate they play that way all the time, but I certainly wouldn't mind them turning Romo loose a little more often, instead of just when they are fighting the clock.
Any takers? Will the Cowboys allow Romo more freedom on the field this season?
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