Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has always been known as a player who has made plays outside the pocket. Unfortunately, sometimes that’s been because the offensive line has been so bad that he had to bail early, but it’s also because of Romo’s ability to improvise when the play breaks down.
That ability led to a stat from the first week of the season that puts Romo alone atop the NFL. According to ESPN statistics, there were only two touchdown passes outside the pocket in the NFL week one, both by Romo, both to Kevin Ogletree.
The question is, what are we to make of this? I think there are a few points to be made here, the first one being that Jason Garrett should put Romo on the move more. He clearly can make plays outside the pocket and has been successful doing so. We’ve all seen Romo make big plays when on the move and it seems to fit his game.
It also can help the Cowboys against aggressive defensive fronts from the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. The Cowboys offensive line isn’t one of the top lines in the league and putting Romo on the move against good defensive teams makes sense. It’s much harder to hit a moving target than a stationary one. If you don’t know where the quarterback is going to be, it’s harder to game plan for.
The other thing I take from that stat is this: weren’t most Cowboys fans worried about who the third wide receiver was going to be? The team was dumb for letting Laurent Robinson walk away and having no guy ready to take that spot. I liked Robinson because he worked well with Tony Romo when a play broke down. He seemed to have a feel for what Romo was going to do and kept working to get open for him when a play broke down. They had a nice feel for one another.
In week one, it appeared that Kevin Ogletree had the same feel for soft spots in the defense. On his first touchdown catch, Ogletree saw the Cowboys protection breakdown, saw Romo leave the pocket and found the open space in the Giants defense. Romo, as he usually does, kept his eyes downfield while he was scrambling and he found Ogletree for the score.
It was just one week, but it would be great if Ogletree and Romo had the same feel for each other that Romo and Robinson did.
Either way, Romo is comfortable outside the pocket and it only helps the Cowboys offense.
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