DALLAS - SEPTEMBER 28: Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys during play against the Washington Redskins at Texas Stadium on September 28, 2008 in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The Washington Redskins are aware of this.
"In the course of a ballgame, because they have so many weapons at the skill positions, you have to be disciplined on what you're doing," said linebacker London Fletcher recently in the Washington Post. "At any point and time, the guy you're covering could be the guy that they try to get the ball to in a big-play opportunity. It's all about being disciplined in what the defense calls for."
The big play, the home-run ball, if you will, has presented something of an issue for Fletcher and the Washington defense; they've surrendered three runs of 40 or more yards and three passes of 40 or more yards on the year, including a 40- and 75-yard touchdown pass in last week's victory over Denver, a couple low points in an otherwise huge win for the Redskins.
"Big plays are a combination of everybody. Defense is a team sport," Fletcher continued. "We all have ownership in everything that's going on out there."
Fletcher said that Dallas will likely look for the big play against Washington as a result of the team's inability to effectively combat it in their victory over Denver--which brings us to Romo, who is arguably the most adept pocket-manipulator in football today.
Romo's ability to move and manipulate the pocket, thereby extending plays and increasing the odds of cashing in on a big play, is hardly lost on Washington, as they come to Dallas for Sunday's division contest.
"[Romo] is a tough quarterback. He has great pocket awareness," Fletcher said. "He has a great ability to extend plays, to buy time. He knows how to get everything out of a play.
"He's good at that."