IRVING, Texas – Even if he had the same play-caller for the last 10 years, Tony Romo would be eager to get back on the field.
So the fact the Cowboys are likely rolling out their third play-caller in three years only adds to the excitement Romo has to make a full recovery from his back surgery last December. The quarterback said he's been able to have "full velocity" on some of his throws, although he's still about a month away from being able to do it consistently.
"I'm anxious. I think more than anything I'm excited to kind of go through it and attack it to that level," Romo said of his return. "But obviously, you've got to be smart and listen to your coaches and training staff."
But while the Cowboys still have the same offensive coordinator in Bill Callahan, it seems clear that newly-hired passing game coordinator Scott Linehan will have a major say in the offensive structure as well. And it's expected that Linehan will call the plays like he did as the Lions' offensive coordinator the last five years.
Romo didn't want to detail some of the new changes in this year's offense, but did admit there will be more wrinkles.
"I think it can be beneficial to us not giving away too much stuff," Romo said this week. "But I think there're some new things. There're some things that will carry over. You'll see some things that look similar. They'll be subtly different things that I think will give us a little bit of an advantage. I don't want to go into detail on that too much."
When asked if the team will throw more deep passes this year and stretch defenses vertically, Romo said there are some things Detroit did last year with Calvin Johnson and stretching the field that will carry over with Linehan to Dallas.
"I think that when you watch the tape of what the Lions have done, it's exciting to see some of the ways they attack teams," Romo said. "I think we're going to do some of that, and we're going to have some of our stuff. You always try new things that you're putting in each year, so I just think it's going to allow us to be an aggressive offense, and that's what you're going to be. [embedded_ad]
"You look at certain games we needed to do other things differently. We needed to get the ball out of our hands quicker, and other games we needed to run the ball more, and other games we needed to push it down the field. We all need to be better, and I think that's the case for every single year though."
With Linehan now in the mix, along with Callahan and Jason Garrett, Romo knows there are a lot of strong voices in the room, not to mention his own. As he enters his eighth year as the Cowboys' starting quarterback, Romo said he expects to be as comfortable as ever in this setup.
"I think in some ways as you get older you have more control with what you want to happen out on the field. That's including leading up to the game and during," Romo said. "By the same token, if you think similar to what the play-caller and what the people putting the plan on are, you'll probably take less control in that environment, I guess I would say. It all depends on the relationship, trust and then your longevity and your experience that you have as a quarterback. For me, you get to that point and you feel very comfortable going in and communicating what you want, and making sure that's going to take shape."