Duane Burleson/Associated Press
The biggest change for the Cowboys offense this year will be the addition of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Linehan runs an offense that’s somewhat similar to Dallas’s prior scheme, but with a few alterations. One of them is more deep passes.
On the subject of throwing deep, Linehan told 105.3 The Fan:
Not to get into specifics, but that's a big part of what I grew up with or believe in, and it's going to be our philosophy to do those kinds of things maybe a little bit more. We have the personnel for it for sure.
It's a way to get the [defenders] backed up a little bit and also create big plays. Everybody says it's a low percentage play, but depending on the look, it's a high percentage play - as long as you've got weapons on the outside part of the field. And I really believe we have that. We also have some big targets with our tight ends when [opponents] start getting the safeties back and overlapping the outside two [receivers].
Tony Romo has historically had great success throwing deep for two reasons. The first is that the Cowboys just simply haven’t done it much, which will naturally increase efficiency. The second is that Romo has been able to buy time with his legs, allowing receivers to get wide open so he doesn’t need to make super-accurate throws.
I don’t think Romo is actually a great deep-ball passer in terms of dropping back seven steps and releasing the football in stride. His value comes in his backyard-football playmaking ability (and, of course, the presence of Dez Bryant). It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys’ deep-passing efficiency changes as they ask Romo to do it more frequently.