Ian Rapoport | Tags:
The Cowboys offensive line was dreadful last Sunday, even in the win over the Bucs. QB Tony Romo was sacked four times, they false-started far more than you’d like, and the holding penalties weren’t pretty. Sure, sure, a win. But not one you want to tell mama about.
Fast-forward a few days, and Romo met with the media. Toward the end of a nine-minute session that revolved around the inconsistent unit, Romo was asked about his confidence level in the fatties. And the exchange was comical.
“Give me a scale,” Romo responded. “Like, 1-10?”
“Let’s go with a 10,” Romo said with a smile. “I feel very confident.”
The media laughed… which I don’t think was the desired response. But it was funny nonetheless. Seriously, though, the focus this week has been on fixing the unit. Some of that will just happen with time, as the starting five wasn’t together much during the preseason. But some of it will happen as they put themselves in better situations.
The fact that the Bears lead the NFL with 14 sacks… that won’t help either.
“You just play the position,” Romo said. “That’s part of playing quarterback in the National Football League. Sometimes people are going to hit you. There are good players on that side. Guys up front are going to be battling. It’s always going to be tough just ’cause a new week there is a new defensive line and scheme so that part makes it a great challenge for our guys. That’s what makes it fun though.”
To be sure, there is a lot to fix.
“I’d say all of those,” said Romo, when asked if it was bad offense or good defense. “It’s a combination of a lot of things. Penalties, negative plays. We need to do the little things better. That will help us a lot because we’re already doing enough good things. We just need to minimize the stuff that you can control. The stuff that should be stuff that we’re good at.”
Romo has been harassed and under pressure most of the season. Yet he still makes plays. How does he balance when to take what’s given to him and why to try to make something happen?
“I think you’re always judging and balancing every single play,” Romo said. “Where the ball should go, whether or not you won or lost a route, do you have the time, do you not have the time, which way are you rolling, score of the game, down and distance… there’s a lot of stuff that goes into each decision you make. You just learn over time what you do with certain things.”
Of course, the O-line is working this week to improve. They aren’t blind. They know how rough it was last week in the pass game and run game. Guard Nate Livings explained to me.
“It’s never business as usual,” guard Nate Livings said. “Yeah, we won,but we’re real critical of how we played. We don’t like seeing Tony get hit at all. But we realize it’s part of the game. But we just look at those areas where we need to improve, start getting on them as soon as we get here. I mean, we see it, coaches see it. Coach (Bill) Callahan doesn’t miss anything. So, we just go in and try to get better every day.”