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Mailbag: Bengals' X-Factors? What Does Romo Add To The Offense?

Every casual fan knows A.J. Green and Geno Atkins, but who is the biggest X-Factor Dallas will have to deal with this weekend? Tyler Boyd, Carlos Dunalap, Tyler Eifert back from injury or Gio Bernard out of the backfield?

Bryan: Funny that you ask this question because I am writing about Green, Atkins and Boyd for my player previews. Carlos Dunlap can be a pain in the rear -- especially for Doug Free, who tends to struggle with guys that have a combination of length and power. I am afraid that there are going to be plenty of snaps where Free is one-on-one with Dunlap unless the game plan is to give him help with Jason Witten or Geoff Swaim. The Bengals want to win on early downs and turn Dunlap and Michael Johnson loose on this offensive line.  

David:Doug Free is going to have trouble with Carlos Dunlap – there's just no question in my mind about that. Free has been battling a quad injury, and you've seen guys like Jason Pierre-Paul and Ryan Kerrigan give him trouble. I would suggest the Cowboys give him some help with Dunlap. Other than that, I'm much more worried about Jeremy Hill than I am Gio Bernard. Hill is a bruiser, and he can make life difficult on this defense – especially if they're taking men out of the box to account for the likes of A.J. Green.

I understand how Dak's stellar play is fueling the talk of a potential QB controversy when Romo is healthy. I understand the reasoning, to a degree. But I don't think there's been enough focus on what a healthy Romo does for the currently constructed offense. We saw how efficient Romo is with a dominant run game in 2014. What does Romo bring to this offense and how much better can the offense be with him under center?

Bryan: Romo doesn't miss those throws early in the game to Terrance Williams and Brice Butler. The offense with Romo under center will have more of those chunk plays. It will be more explosive especially if Elliott and Morris keep running the ball the way they have.

David:We get 15 questions a day about benching Tony Romo, so I figured it'd only be fair to talk about the other side of the argument. All due credit to Dak Prescott, but he did just win an NFL game without throwing a 20-yard completion. I don't think you see that with Tony Romo. As good as this running game has been, I think you'd see it open up the passing game even more with a seasoned quarterback under center. With a more potent passing attack, I think this offense would be a more consistent threat to score in the 30s every week.

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