ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 21: Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys walks off the field after the Cowboys beat the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on August 21, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Curiously absent from Dallas' offense over the first two preseason games of the year has been the long ball. This could be a positive harbinger, as the team seemed, at times, to rely too heavily on the home run ball in years past.
On the other hand, teams need a significant deep threat, the ability to stretch the field and keep defenses honest against the run. The thought--albeit a completely premature and wholly unrefined one-- that Dallas may not have a significant deep threat anymore is frightening, to say the least. But according to Tony Romo, who maintained his general philosophy of taking whatever the defense is giving in a post-practice interview yesterday, the deep threat remains, ready to show itself when the opportunity is given.
"I think when the season ends and you look at twenty plus yard plays, I'm pretty sure we'll be the same as we were the last few years," Romo said. "I think it's all about what the defense gives you that day. Some defenses want to keep everything in front of them. Well, then you got to throw it in front of them. Others want to attack you and get after you, and the possibility of big plays come about."
Romo attributed the absence of the long ball partly to the fact that the offense is keeping things conservative in an attempt not to show their hand in preseason, as well as the take-what-they-give-you philosophy that seems to be paramount in the offense's mindset. He also alluded to Jason Witten's catch that went for 19 yards during Friday's win over Tennessee, saying, It's not going to look like it was a bomb. But it ends up being a big play, when you look at the end of the year, you're looking for plays that were fifteen or twenty plus for big plays."