Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson acknowledged Tuesday that Romo's downfield passing has been "a little bit more inconsistent" as he recovers from his second back surgery in two years. The Miami Herald, meanwhile, noted that Tannehill and a gimpy Mike Wallacecontinue to struggle with downfield chemistry after last season's disconnect.
A look at the numbers tells very different stories for the two quarterbacks. According to the NFL Media research team, Tony Romo has posted a 99.7 passer rating on passes that have traveled more than 20 yards through the air since 2006. Only Aaron Rodgers (104.8) and Drew Brees (103.4) have better marks among QBs with a minimum of 150 attempts.
In that span, Romo has never ranked worse than 15th in passer rating on such throws in any individual season.
The outlook isn't nearly as pretty for Tannehill. The quarterback completed just 11-of-54 passes that traveled more than 20 yards in the air in 2013. His 20.4 percent completion percentage was the fourth-worst in football (among passers with at least 10 attempts). Only Josh Freeman (14.3), Cam Newton (19.2) and Chad Henne (19.2) fared worse.
What does this mean? If Romo is healthy, you can safely expect his deep-ball throwing to improve as he gets more reps. As for Tannehill? The Dolphins really need Wallace to get healthy. There's work to do.