Cowboys: Imagining life without Romo
The status of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo continues to be uncertain, with the back injury suffered against the Washington Redskins keeping him out of practice all week. Even if he can go on Sunday, he looked uncomfortable after his return against Washington. So with an aggressive Arizona Cardinals defense looming, it may be wise for the Cowboys to consider life without their starter.
With Romo at quarterback, the Cowboys have been successful on short (passes that travel 0-9 yards in the air) and intermediate (10-19) passes, along with an occasional deep throw (20 yards or more) to keep things interesting. Romo has graded positively in all three facets, +3.7 on the short passes, +7.8 on intermediate passes and +4.8 when going long.
So what of his deputy, Brandon Weeden? In 2013 Weeden recorded a 68.2 Accuracy Percentage, which dropped to 50.8 when Passing Under Pressure, ranked 39th out of 41 quarterbacks. Weeden was at his best with intermediate passes (+11.5), but struggled going long (+0.2), and surprisingly with the short 0-9 yard passes (-5.9). The coaching staff should adjust their game plan accordingly.
With an offensive line that ranks 25th in pass blocking, and a less mobile quarterback who struggles under pressure, the logical conclusion is a Cowboys offense that relies even more on DeMarco Murray and the run game.