NATURE OF THE BEAST: Mistakes happen when Romo tries to do too much, like most quarterbacks in the NFL
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Tony Romo is like just about every quarterback in the NFL when it comes to turnovers. He is going to make mistakes most often when he is trying to make something happen.
“When you don’t run the football, when you’re behind the chains a little bit and you’re the guy who has the ball in his hands on every play, there’s a natural instinct if you’re a great competitor like Tony is to say, ‘Hey, I can do something. I can fix this.’ ” Garrett said at his press conference at Valley Ranch. “And ultimately, when you do that at any position, particularly at the quarterback position, you set yourself up for some difficult situations.”
Romo has thrown eight interceptions this year. Six came when he was trailing (3-0, 17-7, 17-7, 27-10 and 34-10 against the Bears and 10-0 against Seattle) and two came when the game was scoreless. An interception against Tampa Bay occurred on the third play of the game.
“I think Tony’s done some really good things for us this year, and at times when he hasn’t done good things, it’s probably because we haven’t been in a great situation and he’s trying to make up for something,” Garrett said. “He just has to go back and be 1/11th of the offense like he’s been throughout most of his career and do his job and trust everybody else to do their job.”
Last year, when Romo had his best statistical season, he threw five interceptions when the game was tied or scoreless, three when he was ahead (27-3, 27-10 and 30-27 against Detroit) and two when he was trailing (14-0 to Philadelphia and 21-7 against the Giants).
“I just think it’s the nature of the position in the National Football League,” Garrett said. “If you look around the league, really at every quarterback, there’s always games where they’re playing well and things are going well around them and they’re kind of doing their part. And then when things aren’t going quite as well, there’s a tendency for them to try to do too much and turn the ball over. It’s just the nature of this position in this league, and it has been for a long, long time.”
RELATED POST ON THE BOYS ARE BACK BLOG:
SOURCE: Jason Garrett Press Conferences (Thursday and Friday)
Jason Garrett speaks to the Dallas media as his team prepares to take the practice field in preparation for the Baltimore Ravens.
Jason Garrett closes out the week from Valley Ranch by fielding questions from the Dallas media for the final time before heading to Baltimore.
Offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan said the Cowboys have talked about simplifying what Tony Romo has to do before the snap.
“As a staff, we talked about just lightening his load and trying to do things that are simple and giving him more peace of mind that he can just come up and call a play and run it,” Callahan said. “That simplification will help all of us, and we’ll see.”
Callahan said part of the reason is the road environment the Cowboys will face Sunday at Baltimore.
“When you’re trying to get everybody together and steady everybody and get more consistency and better execution, sometimes the answer is try to pull back a little bit so that you can do a little bit better,” Callahan said. “Less is better in our minds. We’re trying to get to that point, but we’re not taking things away from Tony and what he does best because he has great command of the system.”
Tony Romo brushed aside a question about whether mistakes happen because he is trying to do too much.
“We’re not here to talk about negative stuff,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s about winning football games, and we’ve just got to do the things that allow us and give us a chance to win football games, and we’re doing some things to correct that.’’
Callahan said Romo understands defenses as well as any player, but it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of pre-snap work.
“A lot of teams across the league – and we’re one of them, this is no secret – come up to the line of scrimmage and you have a series of plays,” Callahan said. “You may have a check-with-me system on, you may have a kill system on, you may be doing a lot with your quarterback from run to pass, pass to run or pass to pass, for that matter. So what you want to be able to do is limit a little bit of that because it can get out of hand sometimes. Not that it has. But it just allows the quarterback to function a little bit freer.”
Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan speaks about the offensive line and its affects on the running game.
IRVING, Texas – In addition to punters Daniel Sepulveda, T.J. Conley and Chas Henry, the Dallas Cowboys will work out 12 players today at Valley Ranch.
Former Baylor guard Robert Torrez Griffin (let’s call him RG-T), a sixth-round pick of the New York Jets, will be in attendance, as will nine defensive backs, a quarterback, a wide receiver and tight end.
Charlie Peprah, who was not among the Cowboys’ tryouts two weeks ago when they signed Eric Frampton, is the most accomplished safety on hand after spending two stints with Green Bay. The other defensive backs include: Morgan Trent, Kevin Thomas, Reggie Jones, Rod Issac, Vincent Agnew, Larry Asante, Gerald Alexander and Mikail Baker.
Quarterback Nick Stephens, who played high school at Flower Mound before attending Tennessee and Tarleton State, will work out as well. He went to camp this summer with the Tennessee Titans. Tight end Fendi Onubun and wide receiver John Haggerty round out the group.
EDITORS NOTE: Robert T. Griffin, aka, "RG2,” "Deuce,” or "Big Griff,” was the "other Robert Griffin” at Baylor, the senior guard and two-year starter on the offensive line who helped protect and clear the way for RG3.
IRVING, Texas – It looks like the Cowboys’ decision on which of their centers is better will be delayed at least a week.
They’ll just go with the healthy guy for now. That’s Phil Costa right now with Ryan Cook nursing a strained hamstring.
“I think Ryan Cook did a great job,” offensive coordinator/line coach Bill Callahan said. “Unfortunately, he’s on the shelf.”
Cook hasn’t practiced since the Monday night loss to the Bears. Costa is ready to return from a back injury that sidelined him for most of training camp and since the first three snaps of the season opener.
It could be argued that the Cowboys are downgrading with the return of their original starter.
Cook, who was acquired from the Dolphins for a seventh-round pick after the preseason, has been the least of the Cowboys offensive line’s problems. Pro Football Focus grades him as the NFL’s No. 13 center so far this season.
Costa, on the other hand, was the offensive line’s weakest link a year ago. Pro Football Focus graded him as the No. 30 center in the league last season.
Callahan was noncommittal when asked about the Cowboys’ starting center once both candidates are healthy.
“We just go out on the practice field, we let them practice, we see who’s more consistent, who’s more ready physically,” Callahan said. “So all those things go into the decision. Physically, ability to play, obviously. Who’s ready mentally. Who can do the job. Who can do the best job for our team. Who we think is the best matchup, depending on who we’re going against.”
Linebacker Anthony Spencer returned to practice Thursday on a limited basis.
He did miss mostly individual drills and some third-down work as he continues to be cautious with the strained pectoral muscle that kept him out the Bears game two weeks ago.
Spencer plans to do more in practice on Friday in anticipation of playing against the Ravens on Sunday.
As long as there are no setbacks, Spencer said he believes he will play. He still doesn’t not have full range of motion. He plans to be cautious, so he doesn’t tear the muscle, which would sideline him for the season.
“I don’t want to tear it,” Spencer said. “I am going to be careful with it. If I have any doubts, I won’t play. But right now, playing is the goal. It feels a lot better.”
The Cowboys run defense suffered without Spencer against the Bears. Victor Butler started in his place and recorded one tackle.
If Spencer can’t go, look for Alex Albright to split time with Butler at the position.