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Romo’s Agility Makes Jones Worry Less About O-Line

Posted Feb 27, 2013

IRVING, Texas – For about two hours last weekend, owner Jerry Jones had plenty to say about plenty of topics.

            There weren’t many stops along the way as he bounced around from subject to subject.

            The only time Jones didn’t say much was when asked about the one skill he likes most from quarterback Tony Romo. More specifically, when asked the main reason why he’s so adamant he has the right guy and the right fit at the most important position.

            Jones took a long pause – maybe to collect his thoughts for the right answer, and/or possibly trying not to give Romo and his agent a leg up in any future contract negotiations.

            After a few seconds of silence, Jones said why he believes Romo is one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks.

            “Tony is the guy … that when the play breaks down, I want to have the ball in his hands,” Jones
said. “And since we know throughout the NFL that a high percentage of plays break down, then that’s quite an asset to have – to have a playmaker and one of his biggest skills is turning a broke-down play into a positive play, if not a spectacular play.”

            Jones went on to say plays in the NFL break down about 50 percent of the time, meaning the quarterback is either flushed out of the pocket or forced to throw quicker than expected.

            “Plays break down all the time. It’s a challenge,” Jones said. “When the stuff hits the fan… that’s Tony. If I were personally looking at the attributes at what the quarterback in San Francisco brings or what the quarterback at Denver brings to the table. When I look at what they do the best, what I see what Tony does best is getting his team out of trouble. When you’re operating under those conditions, it means you have more risk with the ball when that breaks down.”

            But having that type of quarterback is one thing. Jones said the next step isn’t so easy.
            “Now, how do you turn that into winning ballgames, that’s the challenge,” Jones said. “How to affect that and take that skill, which might could argue is the best in the NFL of handling when the play breaks down. But I would say we’ve got one of the best. How do you take that and incorporate that asset and make that win more than eight games.”

            And because he knows he’s got a scrambling, blitz-dodging quarterback in Romo, Jones said he’s not as worried about the offensive line as much as others might expect.

            “If you’re going to have a guy operate behind an offensive line that can handle porous offensive line, it’s Tony,” Jones said. “Tony has some of the best percentages operating behind pressure situation of anyone in the NFL. If there were a place theoretically that you had to have a weakness with Tony Romo at quarterback, that might be a place to have it. You just can’t have it all.”

            That doesn’t mean Jones will simply disregard upgrading the line this season. In fact, he said the guard position must improve and there could be a big change at right tackle, depending what happens with Doug Free and his contract situation.

            Regardless, Jones is rather confident he’s got a quarterback who can handle things … however it breaks down.
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