IRVING, Texas – Balance on offense isn’t
The Cowboys’ quarterback is more worried about winning, and he doesn’t mind if the team passes 51 times and runs just nine times in the process. That’s what occurred Sunday in a 27-23 win against the Vikings.
“If you’re just thinking, ‘Boy, we better get to 15 runs, 20 runs, just to make sure that we appease everybody, that’s just silly,” Romo said. “I think what you find is we won that football game last week. We’re moving on to the next one. Maybe you only throw it 17 times the next week, maybe you only throw it 25 times, or whatever, so it varies.”
Even the 51/9 ratio is a little skewed. The Cowboys technically ran eight running plays and 55 passing plays. Three times Romo was sacked and another rushing attempt came on a scramble by Romo after the play broke down.
The Cowboys set a new franchise-low in a 16-game season with just 79.1 rushing yards per game last year on 22.2 carries per game. They’ve actually ran the ball less this year, with 20.3 carries a game through nine games.
“We’re trying to win the football game, first and foremost,” Romo said. “The balance, throwing, running, no one in this locker room cares whether we run 50 times. We just want to win.”
Romo said each game is different in terms of how often he can check out of running plays.
“Each game’s different,” he said. “Some games you’ll have two plays. Other games you’ll have eight or 10. That’s just part of each game, different philosophies. There’s no set number that we have set up. It varies every week.”
He looks at the coverage and the front and the play-call and determines the next move. He said if a team’s stout against the run, he’ll try to throw, and vice versa.
The Cowboys currently rank 31st in the league in rushing attempts per game, and their 75.7 rushing yards per game place them 27th in the NFL. They ran just nine times against the Vikings, but before that they ran 26 times apiece against the Lions and Eagles.
“I think what you find is in Detroit, we tried running it a lot on second down,” Romo said. “We were losing yards. Well, if you’re in second-and-4 and then you’re in third-and-8, I don’t know that that’s winning football, no matter how you slice it.”
Having said that, Romo added that running can be a huge advantage if a team can do it well.
“When you look back, I’m sure that we all want to have balance,” he said. “It makes everything easier. In specific games at specific times, there were some tough situations and calls and the defense did a couple good things. Before you know it, you’re behind and now you’ve got to throw the last few possessions and make it even more one-sided than it already was.”