Wednesday, September 11, 2013
QB Watch: Cowboys' Tony Romo
By Todd Archer
A weekly analysis of the Dallas Cowboys' quarterback play.
Rewind: Tony Romo completed 36 of 49 passes for 263 yards against the New York Giants in Week 1 with two touchdown passes (both to Jason Witten) and an interception. Romo averaged only 5.4 yards per attempt in part because of how the Giants played defensively, allowing the underneath throws. His top targets Miles Austin, Witten and Dez Bryant averaged only 7.2, 8.8 and 5.5 yards per catch, respectively. But most importantly, Romo stayed away from the mistakes. His interception came on a mistake by rookie receiver Terrance Williams. Romo suffered bruised ribs but was sacked only twice (on back-to-back plays), marking the ninth time in 13 starts versus New York in which he was sacked two or fewer times.
Fast-forward: Kansas City limited Jacksonville quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne to 157 yards and sacked Gabbert six times in Week 1. But Romo offers many more problems for the Chiefs with his ability to move around and his variety of targets. Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton was on the New York Jets' staff when Romo threw for 342 yards in the 2011 season opener only to be done in by a late interception by Darrelle Revis.
Don’t I know you? Romo made 11 regular-season starts against Andy Reid in Philadelphia and recorded 17 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions against the 4-3 scheme Reid used for years. Now Romo faces a 3-4 defense for the first time with Reid as a head coach. In sweeping Reid’s Eagles last year, Romo had the first no-interception games of his tenure against Philadelphia in games that he started and finished. In 2011 he was knocked out with a hand injury on the first series.
Prediction: The Chiefs had their way with Gabbert in the opener, but Romo will come close to 300 yards and three touchdown passes with one interception.