Tony Romo: Cowboys could return to 2016 philosophy and lean on run game

Chicago Bears v Dallas Cowboys
Getty Images

In 2016, Tony Romo injured his back in the third preseason game. His compression fracture kept him out most of the season and ushered in the Dak Prescott era.

With a rookie starting at quarterback, the Cowboys leaned on their offensive line and running game that season. They attempted 483 passes and threw 25 touchdowns and ran 499 times and scored 24 rushing touchdowns.

Romo expects the Cowboys to return to 2016 philosophically and lean on the offensive line and the running game. Dallas lost receivers Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson and Michael Gallup is expected to miss the start of the season while working his way back from a torn ACL.

Running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard are a strength.

“The Cowboys have been probably the best offense in the division for a while now,” Romo told Maggie Gray and Andrew Perloff on CBS Sports Radio. “And you know that the offensive line since around 2014, ‘14-ish, they started to get really good and so that’s carried on for such a long time, and then you threw in these pieces at wide receiver and all of a sudden this was a dynamic group that could — it was going to be very difficult to stop.

“And you’re seeing just a little bit of change start to happen. So I think you’ll see a shift in philosophy a little bit, the identity might change and get back toward the 2016-ish ‘17, ‘18 season.”

In 18 games last season, the Cowboys had 647 pass attempts and 473 rushing attempts. They led the league in plays and yards.

No matter the Cowboys’ philosophy, Romo expects Prescott to have a great season after he threw for 4,449 yards with 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2021.

“I think he’s shown he’s more than capable of playing great football consistently throughout a year and I just think it’s gonna be a little different,” Romo continued. “You know, because the weapons won’t be quite as dynamic. They’ll still be very good. But I do think that you’ll see teams play them just a little bit different.

“[Prescott’s] going to play good football, and he’s going to give them a chance to win every week he plays.”

11 responses to “Tony Romo: Cowboys could return to 2016 philosophy and lean on run game

  1. You mean when Zack Martin and Tyrone Smith were young and dominant? Now with what o-line?

  2. Might as well hand the rock off since dak can barley walk after his broken leg

  3. Cowboys are in the top 3 for most expensive offenses in the NFL. Time to start showing results. Future hall of famer Tony Romo expresses great wisdom as usual. Typical for a former Cowboy.

    #thisisouryear

    Cowboys
    Commanders
    Eagles back ups
    Giants
    Eagles

    In that order

  4. This line isn’t even close to that one, which might have been the best line in football in 16. Tyron Smith is 6 years and a dozen minor injuries older. Frederickson retired with Guillen-Barre syndrome, Ronald Leary is gone and retired. Only Zach Martin remains as an elite lineman. On top of that Zeke was a beast those first 3 years in the league. He had legitimate receiver speed that rookie year. He’s a shell of himself the past 3 years. Bottom line is this team doesn’t have the personnel to run like that anymore.

  5. “[Prescott’s] … going to give them a chance to win every week he plays.”

    Yes, except in the playoffs or the game they need to get in the playoffs…

  6. Except that the OL is decrepit and Elliott is done and the WR core is Lamb and a bunch of nobodies lead by a QB who throws for a lot of yards but wilts when facing a competitive team.

  7. No matter the Cowboys’ philosophy, Romo expects Prescott to have a great season after he threw for 4,449 yards with 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2021.

    He threw 5 of those TDs in a meaningless Wk 17 game against the Eagles 3rd stringers solely to get that record. It was important for the cowboys to leave their starters in the game and risk injury so Dak could get regular season accolades.

    That is what is important to the Cowboys and why they only have 3 postseason wins in 26 years.

  8. and this leaning on the run game will be gone once Sean Peyton arrives next year

  9. Pollard > Zeke – by a mile.

    But I agree with other posters that the current OL is no where near as dominant as that OL. For the Boys to win Dak will have to throw the ball a lot more than he did in ’16.

  10. That sure was an awesome offensive line in 2016. Not so awesome now. And that’s why a reversion to a 2016 run game can’t work.

  11. What Romo is saying is Dak is an overpaid game manager and needs others to drive the team to victory.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.