Featured Romo: All 22 Breakdown

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Ntegrase96, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Ntegrase96

    Ntegrase96 Well-Known Member

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    This is not a thread to bash number 9 for his performance against the Saints. It's here to critique his play, for better or worse.

    A lot of things went wrong with the offense on Sunday night-- that much is obvious. Romo did not have the worst game of his career, but he was also pretty sub-par in his performance. (Scroll for conclusion).

    2nd quarter: 2nd and 8, Saints up 14-10:

    This was a series that needed to go well. It was apparent what type of game this was going to be. The Cowboys were going to have to put up points to keep pace with the Saints. And after a nice TD drive behind Murray, this follow up drive needed to be equally as impressive. However, it appeared that the Saints had caught on and were keying in on Murray as evidenced by his modest gain on 1st down. This was Romo's time to step up and make some plays.


    Romo opts to pass to Terrance Williams instead of a wide open Bryant on a slant that would've been a sure 1st down. Instead, we see Rob's amoeba defense show up for the first time on third and long, and eventual 3 and out.

    2nd quarter: 2nd and 2, Saints up 21-10

    Okay. It looks like it's about to get ugly since our defense can't stop the Saints. But Garrett wisely uses timeouts on defense in order to give the Cowboys a shot to counter going into half time. Romo starts off well, hitting Witten for an 8 yard gain. But 2nd and 2 sees bad execution from number 9, on honestly, the best play I've seen this offense run in a while.


    As you can see, you've got Harris and Beasley working back to the ball with the attention of 3 Saints defenders and a hesitant CB deciding on whether to keep trailing Williams. Because of this, they have opened up space for Williams (at the bottom of the screen) in the center of the field with room to run. Meanwhile Dez is running a clear-out route, dragging the CB and the safety deep, while Witten is cutting to the outside in the vacated space. And the pocket? Pretty clean. A beautiful play where a few options could've given us a first down, one that could've given us a potential big play (Williams)... what could go wrong?


    ...and Romo throws behind Williams and a little high. Yes, with a still clean pocket. This should've been a gain of at least 25. The next play featured more good routes, but failed to convert the 3rd and 2 as well because of a nice play by the defender and arguably a ball thrown a little behind Beasley. Credit to the defense on that play though. The Saints get the ball back, and score another TD. 28-10 at half.


    Opening drive of 2nd half is the big miss to Bryant that would've been a TD after he beat double coverage. We all got a pretty good look at that, so I'm not going to post the screen grab unless someone really wants to see it again (maybe sadists?).

    The Cowboys get one of their only stops of the game and the Saints miss a FG. But the drive after that was another 3 and out. And on 3rd and 5, Romo almost threw a pick.

    3rd quarter, 3rd and 5, Saints still only up 28-10.


    Romo spends most of this down staring down Dez and Beasley who didn't do a good job of getting open, but to be fair, their routes looked doom to begin with. And while Murray looks wide open with room to run, he is not in this position when Romo is looking that way-- he was working back toward the ball and then turned it upfield a little late (plus that space closes down quickly).

    Instead, Romo goes through his progressions, switches field and fires the ball of to Romo immediately, because of pressure. As you can see Williams is wide open, but I can't blame Romo for the quick toss because of the aforementioned pressure. Overall it was just a good play by the defense on understanding Romo's tendency to find Witten when he needs a target. Saints score another TD after getting the ball back.

    3rd quarter, 1st and 10, Saints up 35-10. "The Failed challenge and The Witten Drop".


    This play isn't a bad play by Romo at all. He stands tall in the pocket and delivers the ball to a sure handed target, Witten just can't hang on. This ended up not being that big of a deal because we ended up scoring on this drive anyway, but I thought I'd post the screen grab to show that Witten was not the only open man on that play, and that, yes, Bryant was in fact getting open against this defense and threatening the field.

    3rd quarter, 2nd and 10, Saints up 35-17, "The Intentional Grounding"

    The Cowboys started to gain some momentum late in the 3rd and for a minute I thought they would at least make it interesting after they recovered an onside kick. But the first down screen pass to Beasley was a little high and probably wouldn't have been successful anyway. But on 2nd and 10, we are stymied by an intentional grounding. The worst part...?


    Williams is streaking down the field, one on one, with inside position. And the safety is too concerned with Bryant because of the 44 yard grab he had earlier working out of the same position, and because... well he's a beast. Romo has a clean enough pocket to get this ball to Williams.


    This is about a quarter of a second later, with Williams clearly leaving his guy and the safety clearly biting on Dez. Of course at this point, it's too late for Romo as the pressure is on. But honestly, if he sees Williams with leverage early, the pressure would not have mattered. Probably would have still taken a hit, but probably would've been 6 points too. Instead, we get intentional grounding, 3rd and 21, and the end of the game essentially.

    Obviously, it's easy to sit here on a computer and say what he should've done. It's much more difficult during the game. And This was a game we were probably going to lose because of the defense.

    But, IMO, this was the story of the offense. A few bad reads and a bit of poor execution. Not all Romo's fault of course. In the last example alone, if the offensive line had've afforded him just a little more time, he had even better opportunities down the field.

    But when the opportunities were there, we just didn't take advantage. Each player had their good moments, and even the playcalling wasn't nearly as bad as I initially thought or as bad as it has been in the past. But the good individual efforts rarely synced up and we were out of sync because of it.

    To put it simply. In a game where the first offense to blink would lose, we blinked like we had sand in our eyes the entire game.
    Duane, Zordon, TheXFactor and 33 others like this.
  2. CT Dal Fan

    CT Dal Fan Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic post. I'm going to go back and read some more. Agree it was partially the offense's fault for not sustaining drives the way the defense was playing; but I wish Romo had a few more possessions as well.

    Just a game where nothing went right. They happen every year to almost every team (for example, the Colts-Rams game).
  3. CooterBrown

    CooterBrown Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, great post.
  4. TrailBlazer

    TrailBlazer Well-Known Member

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    Good post. I enjoyed reading that. I think Romo's best days are behind him. Sadly, we wasted his career.
  5. ftghb

    ftghb Active Member

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    the amoeba defense really confused romo a number of times. A couple times they only sent 4 guys, but romo panicked and broke out of the pocket before protection ever broke down. He just never felt comfortable. As for a couple of those plays, credit the saints defense. They know romo's progressions incredibly well and pretty much scared tony off looking at dez's way most of the time by showing press man with a safety over the top.
  6. GloryDaysRBack

    GloryDaysRBack Well-Known Member

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    Great post. Not to take away from this at all. But even if romo makes all these throws. We still lose.
  7. vlad

    vlad Well-Known Member

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    Awesome post...great job. Now I can learn some higher-level football!

    Questions to anyone that would know (any former QBs around?)

    1. Is the progression a QB goes through part of the play design? Can the QB change the order of progressions at the line?

    2. If in going through a progression, if someone in your progression is "open" do you immediately fire the ball? When should (or is it bad) a QB skip an open guy in a progression and try for something more? (like that first screenshot, agree Dez is open but so is Williams...is that on the QB to skip or should the progression have been different?

    3. Are plays designed to accomplish different things during the progressions? Meaning if read-1 is a short out and open, but read-3 is a post that is also open, is it bad if the QB throws it to read-1 without going to read-3? Should they be able to see what else is happening on the D and know to look at read-3 and pass over read-1?

    4. On that 6th screenshot where Williams has inside leverage on the corner, at that point in time does it not seem that the safety is in position to make a play/pick it off?

  8. khiladi

    khiladi Well-Known Member

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    On the first play you posted, where he chose to go to Williams, his read was wide-open. Why wouldn't he go to the progression (I'm assuming Williams was the progression prior to Dez) in such a case, considering the DB is 8 yards off him? Additionally, it's a 2nd and 8, the progession may have been playing for yardage.
  9. blackbull

    blackbull Well-Known Member

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    So the (get open dez) people are full of crap? You don't say!
    CowboyStar88 likes this.
  10. bark

    bark Well-Known Member

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    Lots to chew on in that break down ... Thanks op ... Very nice work
  11. TrailBlazer

    TrailBlazer Well-Known Member

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    Yes progressions are part of play design. Tony knows who his first second third options are and who to look at first. Sometimes the qb changes his progressions pre snap based off defensive alignment. When going through progression, once the qb finds an open guy, make the throw. No need to look at anyone else. There are some exceptions: if it 4th and 10, you wanna throw it past the sticks to get the first down. Most reads start from the receiver running the deepest route, then if that's covered, work back down closer to the line of scrimmage for the check down. And on the last screenshot, the safety is keying on dez the whole way. The safety would've had to flip his hips and run and by that time Terrance wouldve been in the end zone.
    vlad likes this.
  12. khiladi

    khiladi Well-Known Member

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    On the streakin Williams, with Dez running the same route he got the 44 yarder, I'm thinking they were attempting to hit the left side, probably trying to fool the defense thinking they were going to Dez. There are 3 WRs running routes there. If that is the case, at the time Romo was to wait for one of these WRs to be open based upon their route, the DB would NOT have committed to Dez by then, because Williams and Dez are still running vertical directly towards him.

    If Romo saw Williams at the time of that leverage, all this pesumes the safety would not have seen Romo look that way and toss it. That is a big IF...

    Additionally, as you point out, your talking about a long time for the OL to sustain protection for the QB.

    But look how far back Romo is from the first down marker. Is it just me or is he like 10-11 yards plus from the first down marker? That ain't know seven step drop....
  13. dstovall5

    dstovall5 Well-Known Member

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    Nice read and good post. It definitely was an off game for Romo, and pretty much for the entire 46 man active roster. Man was it brutal to watch, I personally thought everyone was going to burn their tapes of this game. I feel for your pain though to have to go through that blow out again, lol.

    Anyways, nice read!
  14. Zordon

    Zordon Well-Known Member

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    $100 million dollar quarterback has to do better.
    CaptainMorgan likes this.
  15. loublue22

    loublue22 Well-Known Member

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    great stuff
  16. dupree89

    dupree89 Well-Known Member

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    You got that right. 12 yards passing in first half. Never converted a 3rd down. Glen Carano could've done that...(and he's 58 yrs old now) o_O
    CowboyStar88, Jerryrage and Zordon like this.
  17. HowAboutThemCowboys

    HowAboutThemCowboys Well-Known Member

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    How do you fix a gun shy QB?
  18. CaptainMorgan

    CaptainMorgan Well-Known Member

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    Something is really really wrong with Romo. Physically he isnt getting any younger or better. His accuracy is just flat off this year.

    Sadly his mental game appears to be deteriorating as well.

    Not good with the money jerry just showered him with.
    Gorgeyhopper likes this.
  19. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Nice job putting that together, even if it was one of the worst performances of Romo's career, in a game we weren't going to win anyway.
  20. dexternjack

    dexternjack World Traveler

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    IMO, there is nothing wrong physically with Romo, it is all in his head. He never had a cannon for an arm and today, he is only slightly less. He does seem a lot slower now, he used to not be so bad at scrambling. Now, he looks like a wildebeest getting shot in the rear and falling face first.

    Romo seriously needs to look into a sports psychologist in the off-season. There seems to be some mental block in there and I don't think a poor offensive line has anything to do with it. Perhaps the media scrutiny finally got to him or is there some other underlying issues? Or has he realized his fate on this team while under JJ and Garrett and kind of given up?
    birdwells1 likes this.

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