- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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Todd Archer wrote a compelling column the other day about the pressure to win being on GM Jerry Jones.
Archer writes: "Jones has to do more for Romo besides just writing some handsome checks. Jones has to get better players around Romo, and not just at the sexy positions."
The pieces are here.
The pressure shouldn't be on Jones, it should be on Romo.
Romo has an elite tight end in Jason Witten, two standout wide receivers in Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. He has a rising running back in DeMarco Murray and a young talented left tackle in Tyron Smith.
You could say the rest of the offensive line struggled at times last season, but it's strange how the offensive line wasn't an issue when Romo went on a seven-game stretch where he threw 16 touchdowns and just three interceptions and his team went 5-2 to remain in the playoff picture. Romo was sacked an ungodly 20 times during those seven games.
But all sacks can't be placed on the offensive line, much like all interceptions can't be placed on the quarterback. Can Romo throw the ball away sometimes? Anytime?
On defense, nobody questions the elite status of DeMarcus Ware and the talented young players in Sean Lee, Bruce Carter and Morris Claiborne. Brandon Carr, Jason Hatcher, Anthony Spencer and Jay Ratliff are solid playmakers.
Kicker Dan Bailey is solid.
The pieces are in place.
The Cowboys have the No. 18 overall pick in the draft and should find a starter who will make an impact.
What Romo's contract has done is raise the stakes even higher. Yes, the Cowboys want Romo to deliver a championship before he signed his new contract last week. But the Cowboys could have moved on without Romo and still cleared out salary cap space without restructuring his deal. The free-agency market for the Cowboys was going to be tight regardless of whether the Cowboys lowered Romo's salary cap figures.
By giving Romo this massive contract, the Cowboys told the NFL, "we expect a championship NOW."
At some point, the Cowboys should have drafted a quarterback for the future. They didn't, so now they're stuck and you can blame Jones for that.
But you can't blame Jones for providing security for his quarterback, which is the right thing to do. And don't blame Jones if his quarterback fails to bring a championship to North Texas.
That's on Romo.