Tony Romo's Maturation A Reason For Cowboys'
Dallas Morning News
June 13, 2010. Tony Romo teases reporters about
a change he's made in his game, an improvement
so subtle it's difficult for the untrained eye
As everyone knows, there is no shortage of
untrained eyes among the media.
"It's really pretty cool," Romo said, promising
specifics at a later date. "You'll see."
The fact this mysterious, minor adjustment
captures our interest illustrates just how much
Romo has matured as a quarterback.
Think back to this time last year. Critics
wondered if Romo took the game seriously enough,
if he really understood the impact of his words
and attitude. He was a quarterback who took
chances when he should play it smart and turned
the ball over way too often.
Every philosophical and personnel move was made
to shape a more Romo-friendly offense.
The broader questions about Romo's demeanor and
focus are no longer asked. He has made dramatic
improvement in the area the Cowboys like to call
ball security without sacrificing the big-play
ability that makes him special.
The talk as this minicamp ends is not what the
Cowboys can do for Romo.
The buzz is how Romo makes those around him
better. He's a more assertive and confident
He's grown into the position.
"That may be one of the things we're seeing that
has come with his years in the NFL," owner Jerry
Jones said. "He has a better sense of what he
wants done and how he wants it done.
"Everybody in this organization is confident in
his judgment. His willingness to inject himself
into what he's doing and how he's doing it is a
big deal. You're seeing considerably more of
that now than you were three years ago or two
"I think it's really going to impact our ability
to execute offensively."
Jones points to the rapport Romo was able to
develop with Miles Austin last season. He talks
about the impact the quarterback can have on the
formative stages of Dez Bryant's career. Or, as
Jones puts it, how Romo can "bend that twig the
way he wants it" with the rookie receiver.
"I really think he doesn't get a lot of credit
from that standpoint," tight end Jason Witten
said. "I think he makes us all a lot better,
line included. Sometimes, his ability to make
defenders miss is special.
"That's one of the greatest assets you can ever
say about a quarterback, how he creates so much
for so many other people outside of his yards
and touchdowns. He puts us all in better
positions with throws, with alignments. I think
that's a special trait he's come a long way in
When Wade Phillips watches practice these days,
he sees a quarterback who always keeps two hands
on the ball when moving around in the pocket.
It's become instinctive. The head coach does not
"see the looseness" with the ball that plagued
Romo earlier in his career.
"He does a great job of moving around and
throwing the ball," Phillips said. "He seems to
get better and better at that, even in the
pocket. When he gets out of the pocket, he's
"He can go back and set up and throw it as good
as anybody. He moves around well and finds
people well. But now he's moving around and
putting it right on the money. That's a good
Of the nine interceptions Romo threw in 2009,
only five came in the final three months of the
regular season. He opened up his stance a bit to
improve his throws to the left sidelines and had
This off-season is about refining what has
already been put in place.
"He's not making any major changes to his
delivery or his footwork," quarterbacks coach
Wade Wilson said. "He's just trying to get it
"He's throwing the ball great. We keep pushing
the chemistry between him and Roy [Williams] and
making the proper decisions, making good
decisions. We want him to still stay aggressive
but not force the ball. That's a fine line with
"We want him to stay that gunslinger, but only
when it's the proper time."
Romo has come a long way from where he was just
12 months ago.
As for that subtle change Romo won't talk about,
it has to do with his footwork in certain
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