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Thursday, October 3, 2013
If it's available, Romo will throw deep

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas – Each week, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo walks a high wire.

If he throws interceptions, he will get criticized, like he was in 2012 when he had eight interceptions in his first four games. Through four games this season Romo has just one interception, but now comes the critique that he is playing too carefully.

Romo
“Believe me, if there are shots down the field, I’ve never been accused of not taking them,” Romo said. “I think more than anything you’re just going to go through the progressions and see what the defense is giving you.”

Romo is completing 72.4 percent of his passes but is averaging just 6.7 yards per attempt. He entered this season averaging 7.9 yards per attempt. He has only three completions of 25 yards or more, after averaging more than 30 a year when he has started at least 10 games in a season.

Coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan disagree with the notion that Romo is more conservative with his decision-making.

“I think he’s disciplined in terms of his progressions,” Callahan said. “He’s going to read it out. He’s going to bring it down when it needs to be brought down or check it out to the wide flare. We have done that as well as anybody. So we will continue to do those things that help us progress and move the ball, whether it’s a check-down or screen or swing route or whatever route we’re going to run underneath with the backs and tight ends. We’ll do those things and we’ll mix it up and we’ll work the ball down the field as well.”

Callahan pointed to the St. Louis game -- when Romo averaged 8.75 yards per attempt -- as an example of a down-the-field passing game. Romo pointed to the Kansas City game as an example. The Chiefs opened up with a single high safety look, and Romo threw the ball down the field to Dez Bryant for 100 yards in the first quarter.

“I think more than anything you play the play that’s called,” Romo said. “Since you’re 12 years old, there’s a coverage and there’s places to go with the football and you take that.”