IRVING, Texas – There’s been talk for six months about Tony Romo’s increased role in the Cowboys’ game week preparation.
Well, game week is finally here.
Romo was never likely to discuss the finer points of the Cowboys’ season opener strategy against the Giants. But with the days dwindling down until the start of the season, he did acknowledge the amount of work put into the Cowboys gameplan along with offensive coordinator Bill Callahan and the coaching staff.
“We’ve had a lot of meetings, a lot of meeting time. I don’t want to get into detail about what it is, I don’t know if it’s an advantage for us to be communicating all this stuff,” Romo said. “But I have a great rapport with Bill – he’s got a great understanding through his experience about football and what it takes to win games. On top of it, we have great communication as to the things I like to see and the things we’re going to put together.”
That has been a common line from Romo about the input of his personal preferences into the gameplan. But the extent of that is yet to be seen this year – Romo did not play in preseason games against Miami and Houston, and he combined to throw just 36 passes in the other three exhibitions.
When Romo did have the chance to throw, though, he looked strong with a completion percentage of 72 percent for 367 yards with two touchowns and, more importantly, no interceptions.
“We’re really not going to do anything different than what we did at training camp and preseason games. We’re going to run, probably, some plays that are similar, some different plays — some things like that,” Romo said. “But as far as the rest of it, I’m going to treat it the same way I’ve treated every day I walk out there: the ball is important, moving the team, getting us in and out of the right plays and finding the right guys and letting them go do what they do best.”
It will be interesting to see how that changes against live opposition. Despite their lofty reputation, the Giants’ defensive line was among the 10 worst in the NFL in both rushing defense and sacks. New faces such as veteran defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins and Shaun Rogers have been added to the rotation along with familiar names like Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul.
“If you look at them, they might actually be better up front than they were – that’s saying a lot, because they’ve always had a pretty good front,” Romo said. “They’ve added some guys inside that allow them to do some things. Getting Pierre-Paul back, and getting the rest of those guys going – they’re going to be tough to handle.”
That’s a lot of variables for Romo to handle, especially with his expanded role in the gameplan. As has been the case this offseason, he downplayed that thought. Regardless of Romo’s role in the gameplanning, the job on the field remains the same.
“I’m going to do the job that this team needs to win the football game, and that’s what we’re trying to do every week we play. That’s my job when I step out there,” he said. “Obviously the number one thing for me will be not having anything negatively happen – and when I say that, it’s not just turnovers. It’s negative plays, getting us into the right plays, doing little things that will get us out of other things. A lot of that stuff falls on the quarterback’s plate, and that’s a good thing – especially when you’ve been in a system for an extended period of time.”