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Tuesday, September 17, 2013
So much for easing Tony Romo's burden

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys talk about wanting to ease the burden on quarterback Tony Romo, but everything that has happened since he signed his $108 million contract extension in the offseason has seemed to only add to the burden.

He’s more involved in the game planning than ever before. He’s with the coaches going over the opposing defenses. On the field he has the ability to get the Cowboys into a hurry-up mode in which he is calling the plays.

Does Romo want the burden eased off of him?

“I guess the essence of that question goes back to balance and you just want to make sure that we’re more balanced so nobody feels that they’re under pressure,” coach Jason Garrett said Monday. “It’s the same thing if you ran the ball all the time. There’s a tremendous amount of pressure on your offensive linemen and your runner if nine guys are on the line of scrimmage and you face unfavorable boxes all the time, so the balance part of that eases the burden of your offensive or defensive unit and throughout your football team.”

Technically the Cowboys have run the ball 39 times in two games for 124 yards, but that includes two kneel-downs by Romo, two scrambles by the quarterback and a lateral to receiver Terrance Williams on what was supposed to be a screen pass in the third quarter of Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

So really, they’ve ran it 34 times in two games with minimal success.

“More than anything we need to run it a little better if we want to run it more,” Romo said after the Chiefs loss. “We need to get it going a little bit.”

With all of this say in the offense, do you think Romo might believe more in his ability to get the job done with his right arm when the running game struggles like it has? That only increases the burden.

When asked if he reminded offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Callahan to run the ball Sunday, Garrett said, “We as coaches communicate those kinds of things all the time about what we want to do and how we want to attack them.”

Was the message passed on to Romo? Garrett mentioned “balance,” as often as he could during Monday’s news conference. Sometimes it came on back-to-back sentences.

“If you run the no-huddle you can still run the football,” Garrett said. “We have to make sure we do that. We’ll evaluate whether or not we think it’s a good idea each week when we play.”