It was a big game for Tony Romo. He led Dallas to a road win in Week 1, throwing for a career-high 353 yards and three touchdown passes. Indeed, it was a big game for Romo. But it was an even bigger game for his legacy.
More Anatomy of a Play
The resulting sound reveals a side of the Cowboys quarterback that only his teammates and coaches have heard: A player in harmony with his offensive coordinator, in command of his offense and in rhythm with his receivers.
Romo is a field general, not a playboy, and contrary to some people's opinion, he takes his job more seriously than he takes his social life.
If anyone left him off their fantasy roster because of his "lack of wide receivers," then they miscalculated his value. Romo has weapons. And as he showed the Buccaneers, he's not afraid to use them.
The most impressive play from Romo came early during the third quarter, as the Cowboys held a tenuous 13-7 lead.
On second-and-10, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett utilitized a personnel package with both of his athletic tight ends -- Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett -- on the field at the same time. He split them wide outside of the numbers on both sides of the field and placed his wide receivers, Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton, in the slots.
In response to the 2-by-2 formation, the Buccaneers aligned with a balanced coverage in the secondary. When Roy Williams went in motion from left to right, however, the Bucs were forced to rotate their safeties to account for the new unbalanced 3-by-1 formation.
The problem with Tampa Bay's adjustment was that the deep safety, Jermaine Phillips, didn't rotate far enough to the three receiver side. He stayed too far to the side of Bennett, leaving a big void in the seam to his left. And that is exactly where Williams attacked.
Williams' huddle call was a post route, but he saw the opening in the seam and made an adjustment on the fly, keeping his route wider, and straighter, up the field. Romo read the same thing Williams did and made an absolutely perfect throw up the seam for a 66-yard touchdown.
After the play, backup quarterback Jon Kitna, a former Detroit Lions teammate of Williams, congratulated Romo and said to him, "I told you the first week I got here ... dude can run posts."
Romo's delighted response: "Oh, you're not kiddin."