What Tony Romo's New Responsibilities Mean for the Dallas Cowboys

Scott Carasik@ScottCarasikContributor IIMay 9, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 30:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys drops back to pass during their game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 30, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys' 2013 will either be made or broken by the new responsibilities that they have heaped upon Tony Romo's non-clutch shoulders.

Romo is being tasked to do what most top-notch quarterbacks do for their teams in the 2013 season. According to ESPN Dallas' Tim McMahon, Romo has some new conditions in his recently signed seven-year, $119.5 million dollar extension:

The point is that Romo will have extraordinary responsibility in helping to create game plans in the future. 

“Tony is more involved in the finished product,” [Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry] Jones said. “He is more involved, unequivocally. I’m counting that in. That ought to produce some success. It will produce some success. I’m talking about the kind of plays we run, a lot of what we do offensively." 


Romo's new responsibilities lead me to a question: "Why hasn't he done this before?"

Almost every top quarterback—from Peyton Manning to Tom Brady to Eli Manning to Matt Ryan—has this responsibility already. These guys are so ingrained with the kind of receiver they like, the kind of schemes they want run and the kind of passes they want to make that this is the norm.

The fact that it's taken so long for Romo to get these kinds of responsibilities leads me to question the abilities of Jerry Jones as a general manager and Jason Garrett as a head coach. But I digress.

The Cowboys could turn this into a real positive. Or, it will blow up in their faces worse than the Quincy Carter selection in the second round of the 2001 NFL draft as their next franchise quarterback.



This Could Go "Oh Sooo Goood" 

The reason why most of these great quarterbacks have an input on their offenses is because the coaching staffs trust them to know what their strengths and weaknesses are, and this helps to create top-level offenses. Ideally, with the talent the Cowboys have on offense, there's no reason why they shouldn't be a top five scoring team in the NFL. 

Tony Romo can make the offense about his personal high percentage passes and what he feels most comfortable throwing. While he should have little to no input on the running game, he should be willing to embrace it for the play-action opportunities he'll receive due to what looks to be a strong Cowboys running game based around DeMarco Murray and 2013 fifth-round pick Joseph Randle.

He also has a quartet of talented wide receivers in Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Dwayne Harris. He also has a trio of talented tight ends in Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar and James Hanna. There are many ways he can take advantage of this group of talent, and he'll have to make sure he conveys to head coach Jason Garrett the ways he wants to use them.

The Cowboys also finally got an upgrade on the interior of the offensive line—their Achilles' heel in 2012—in the form of Wisconsin center Travis Frederick. This overall combination of a better offensive line and excellent grouping of weapons gives Romo no excuse to not perform well. And honestly, he should be a much better quarterback now that they are legitimately designing the offense to his strengths.

The best coaches understand that the only way to deep runs in the playoffs is to develop schemes that fit the players and not try and bring players in to fit schemes. With Romo getting the scheme tailored to his talents, this could be a top-five offense in the NFL.

For as good as this could be, it could be just as bad. While Tony Romo and the rest of the offense have the raw talent, there's nothing to say that Romo truly understands what he does well and what he doesn't do well. 

But, it's time to throw him to that fire. 

It's time for the Cowboys to either dig their heels into their own mediocrity if this move fails.

But if it does well? 

Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones could look like geniuses. 

And they should.

Because it will.


All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.


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