The term “Romo friendly” isn’t new, but it’s definitely being used more and more incorrectly these days. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones uses it in response to criticism that his head coach and offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett, isn’t a good play-caller. If you’re familiar with Jones and the Cowboys at all, you know Jones often says silly things like this regarding failures by any of his personnel, including players and coaches. The fact of the matter is saying the Cowboys’ offense is friendly for quarterback Tony Romo could not be farther from the truth.
Romo is the Cowboys’ quarterback, so a “Romo-friendly” offense would be one that makes things easy on the passer. Such a unit would protect the signal-caller and allow him to make quick, mostly easy decisions when reading defenses and throwing passes as well as keeping his arm healthy by utilizing the running game properly. Does any of this even remotely resemble the Cowboys’ offense? I didn’t think so.
The Cowboys’ offensive line didn’t protect Romo at all against the Cleveland Browns in Week 11 as he was sacked seven times. Failure to protect the passer? Check.
Romo dropped back 59 times in the contest, which is absolutely ridiculous, especially considering the Cowboys won the game. Before that, Dallas was 0-13 in games in which Garrett called 40 or more pass plays. Any offense that ever throws more than 40 passes in a game is not “friendly” to its quarterback. Period.
Remember that little line above about protecting Romo by utilizing the running game? Go ahead and just scratch that out for the Cowboys going forward because Garrett only called 19 running plays in the game. And don’t tell me it was part of the game plan; the Browns “boast” a run defense that’s among the absolute worst in the NFL.
Yes, I’m well aware the Cowboys’ running backs averaged less than three yards on those 19 carries, but you knew which plays were going to be runs just like the Browns did. Not only that, but you also knew they were going to be mostly delayed handoffs. A quarterback-friendly offense is one that does things quickly and efficiently. Sure, slow-developing plays work, but only on occasion, not every other play.
The Cowboys’ offensive line can’t open holes worth a flip, but this one wasn’t on them. The Browns knew Garrett would call delayed handoffs and they knew Romo would audible to those when they showed zone coverage. Yeah, there’s a reason 10 of Dez Bryant‘s 12 catches came against man coverage: Romo wouldn’t throw against the zone.
In short, the Cowboys’ offense is about the farthest thing from a Romo-friendly unit as there can be. This is just the latest in what seems to be a weekly moronic quote by Jones. Enjoy the win, Cowboys fans, but just know that these horrific offensive play calls won’t work against teams like the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers in December.