- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas – Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan wants quarterback Tony Romo to be able to play with peace of mind.
The best way to do that would be to protect him better, and Callahan’s offensive line is working on that.
But Callahan said the coaching staff also wants to simplify things before the snap for Romo, who has committed 10 turnovers during the Cowboys’ 2-2 start.
“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.”
That’s especially important in a hostile environment such as M&T Bank Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens have won 13 consecutive games.
“When you get on the road and you play in these types of environments, you’ve really got to be sharp,” Callahan said. “You’ve got to be in tune, and obviously if you have less and you can function a little bit faster, it certainly helps you.”
Callahan is referring to the amount of checks that Romo is required to make at the line of scrimmage. The Cowboys, like a lot of NFL teams, often essentially have two or three plays called and rely on Romo to pick the best one based on pre-snap reads.
Callahan’s belief is that cutting back on those checks “allows the quarterback to function a little bit freer.”
“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.”
How can the Cowboys simplify things for Romo after the snap?
“Hand it off,” Callahan joked.
That, of course, opens up a whole other set of problems for the NFL’s 29th-ranked rushing team.