Lions vs. Cowboys: 5 Reasons Tony Romo Will Have His Best Game Yet in Week 4
The Dallas Cowboys will enter Sunday’s matchup against the Detroit Lions as a team beaten and battered. Tony Romo may receive pain injections again, and he’ll wear a protective vest to guard his ribs against hits.
Running back Felix Jones is still recovering from a separated shoulder, so he’ll wear a shoulder harness for the injury. Wide receiver Miles Austin is out until after the team’s bye week, and Dez Bryant is still nursing a bruised quad.
There’s still the issue of Terence Newman’s concussion, Tyron Smith’s knee and Orlando Scandrick’s ankle. After Sunday in Dallas against a tough team like Detroit, I never thought I would say it but the Cowboys may need more than just a bye week to get healthy.
Tony Romo still has a chance to put up some pretty good numbers, however. While the Lions are currently fourth in the league in terms of pass defense, they’ve played the Bucs, the Chiefs and the Vikings for their first three games. Josh Freeman is the only viable passing threat the Lions secondary has seen in three weeks.
Tony’s ribs are hurting and one of his favorite targets is out, but I still believe that Romo will have his best game of the season. Don’t believe me? I’ll give you five reasons why, and believe you me, I’m not selling you any wolf tickets.
Sixth-Best Passer in the NFL for 2011
In terms of passing yards, Romo is the league’s sixth-best passer statistically. He has tossed 942 yards in three games with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
He’s working with a depleted receiving corp and fractured ribs, and he’s still tossing the rock like a young Dan Marino. Tony still has Jason Witten and while dirty Dez Bryant is hurt his quad is getting better.
The Lions Previous Competition
As I mentioned before, the Lions have the fourth-best secondary in the NFL through three weeks. They are allowing 188 yards per game with Josh Freeman being the high man as he passed for 259 on them. Matt Cassel had a paltry 133, and Donovan McNabb had 211.
Not knocking the gentlemen from Kansas City or Minnesota, but I believe that Tony has a much better chance of carving the Lions up than those two guys. Matt Cassel is consistently inconsistent, and McNabb is being told to change his throwing motion.
The Lions will be ready for what the Cowboys and Jason Garrett throw their way, but I can guarantee you they won’t be fourth best after Sunday. Romo is too good and too efficient for Dallas to walk away with less than 275 passing yards.
Dez Bryant and Jason Witten
When it comes down to it, the Cowboys are a more talented team. Now that doesn’t mean that they’ll win or that they are a better team, it just means they have more talent.
Detroit has Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, and Dallas has Dez Bryant. The Lions have Brandon Pettigrew, and the Cowboys have Jason Witten. I plead the fifth on who I would take between Bryant and Megatron, but Witten wins the fight against Pettigrew.
Jason is Romo’s fail-safe, and with a healthier Dez Bryant on the field Dallas should have more offensive firepower. Witten had six catches against the ‘Skins, and if the Cowboys offensive line can’t handle Detroit’s pass rush then Witten should go off for more than six on Sunday.
Cowboys Running Game
Yeah, yeah, yeah the Cowboys' running game has been sick lately and not in a good way. Felix is hurt, DeMarco Murray has been slow to come along and Tashard Choice just isn’t used as much as he should be.
But Sunday may be a different ball game for Dallas. The Lions are giving up 113 yards on the ground per contest, and if Garrett wants to open up the passing game he’ll utilize Murray and Choice more since Jones is banged up.
Felix was able to get off for over 100 yards on just 14 carries Sunday, and he should continue that success against Detroit. If Dallas can establish the run early then that should put Detroit’s corners on their heels and place Romo in a great position to strike early.
That quirky Jason Garrett, I tell ya. He’ll either pass the ball 50 times, or he’ll run a reverse on fourth-and-11 to catch the defense off guard. If anything he’s creative.
Tony’s game will depend on how Garrett calls it. Passing yards won’t be an issue for Romo; it never has been in the past. But how he scores may be. Dallas had issues converting in the red zone last week, as evidenced by their 18-point field goal showing.
Garrett will have to find better ways to get the Cowboys into the end zone, and Dallas will have to execute better. But Jason will give Romo every chance on the planet to play around with the Lions' defensive backfield. If Garrett decides to attack Detroit through the air, then Tony should have his best game of the season.