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Doug Farrar
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Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Romo's On the Hook

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I don't imagine that Mark Sanchez will have too much pressure on him -- my guess is that Rex Ryan will implement the kind of run-heavy offense that allowed rookie quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco to succeed early on. Plus, Sanchez has the poise and ability to learn from his inevitable rookie mistakes. Likewise, I don't think Matt Stafford will be crushed by the specter of that enormous rookie contract -- the Lions have competent management now, and they know better than to throw a rookie into a bad system with very little help. Stafford will learn as he goes.

Quarterbacks like Kyle Orton and Jason Campbell, who were usurped (or in Campbell's case, almost jettisoned twice) in favor of more attractive options, may have less pressure than most. Nobody in their right mind could expect Orton to replicate Jay Cutler's statistical success in Denver, and Campbell now knows that his team's front office doesn't drink the Kool-Aid. He's got nothing to lose at this point, which is why it wouldn't surprise me if he plays at a very high level this season. Likewise, the pressure on Cutler is minimal, because on his worst day, he's better than anything the Bears have trotted out at quarterback since Jim McMahon (or maybe Sid Luckman!)

No, the quarterback with the heaviest weight to carry is one Mr. Tony Romo. With a new stadium, a non-stop reality show around him at all times, and a very questionable receiver corps at this point, Romo had best perform. The Cowboys are his team on the surface, but as long as it's Jerry Jones' team overall, one can always expect unrealistic expectations followed by overreaction after disappointment. Dallas' offense is in decline, the playoff drought has to bother management no end, and there's no T.O. to blame anymore. If the Cowboys don't make a deep playoff run, led by their franchise quarterback, that new palatial stadium could be rife with boo-birds.

By Doug Farrar  |  May 7, 2009; 12:24 PM ET  | Category:  Dallas Cowboys , Doug Farrar Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: No More Excuses, Romo | Next: Manning More Than Sanchez

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The "questionable" receiver corps is why thinking people knowledgeable of football will not hang such pressure around Romo's neck. This is a team sport, not a one man gang sport. Even the best quarterback in the history of the game is incapable of making offensive linemen block, wide receivers run good routes and get open, wide receivers catch the ball, running backs pass protect on passing downs, and offensive coordinators call good plays.
The pressure in Dallas is, rather than on Romo, on a former Cowboys quarterback. It's on Jason Garrett. He has to show he can call the right offensive plays for the type of personnel he has. And for this group, the right mix would be about 55-45 or 60-40 run to pass, with a big offensive line, three good running backs with different running styles, and a quarterback and receivers who would benefit greatly from a killer running game giving them excellent play action fake ability.

Posted by: GARETJAX | May 11, 2009 10:11 AM

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