Detailing Tony Romo: Almost perfect
November, 14, 2011
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com
IRVING, Texas -- Tim MacMahon does his weekly Detailing Dez to analyze Dez Bryant’s development. Today, we Detail Romo because of the game Tony Romo had against Buffalo on Sunday.
Romo set a franchise record by completing 88.5 percent of his passes (23 of 26) against the Bills, so we’ll look at the three incomplete passes and how Romo could have completed every pass with a little bit of good fortune.
FIRST INCOMPLETION: Romo started the game by completing 13 passes in a row, but his 14th pass was a bit of miscommunication between him and Jason Witten. On second-and-6 from the Buffalo 43 in the second half, the Cowboys used an empty set. The Bills rushed only three and did not get pressure. Romo thought Witten would sit in a window underneath the linebackers, but the tight end kept going across the field.
“When you’re playing that way you can start throwing guys under the bus,” Witten joked after it was relayed to him Romo said he was supposed to stop. “I’ll take that one.”
SECOND INCOMPLETION: It’s second-and-8 from the Dallas 32 on the first drive of the second half. The Cowboys have three wide receivers and tight end Martellus Bennett in the slot. Witten is on the line with DeMarco Murray in the backfield. Romo is in shotgun. Bills defensive back Da’Norris Searcy blitzes off the edge, so Witten turns for the hot route. Romo is looking to his right but feels Searcy and spins out of harm. As he rolls to his left, Witten gets behind linebacker Kelvin Sheppard for the pass near the sideline, but cornerback Drayton Florence jars the ball loose before he has possession.
THIRD INCOMPLETION: It’s the next play from the Dallas 32. The Cowboys have three wides on the field and the Bills rush four. Romo is not under pressure but his footwork is off. As he checks it down to Murray, he is on his back foot and off balance. The ball goes through Murray’s hands and is nearly picked off by Searcy.