Pocket protector: Eagles can’t let Romo roam

Tony Romo, Cowboys, Eagles
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is deadly when he gets outside the pocket and extends plays.

 

Pass-first Cowboys present huge challenge

The pocket collapses and the play breaks down. That’s the exact moment Tony Romo goes to work, and when he’s at his most dangerous.

Last year, the Cowboys quarterback threw for 505 yards outside the pocket, to go along with a league-best seven touchdown tosses. Last week, he brushed aside a Redskins blitz and found Terrance Williams in the corner of the end zone for an easy six points. He’s not quite Houdini, but he can be as elusive as a magician outside the pocket.

“It’s very important that we finish plays and not get caught up with him running around,” said Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans. “He’s going to run around and throw the ball, and we definitely have to stay in our coverage and stay keyed on our man.”

The key, as Ryans pointed out, is staying in coverage. The minute a defensive back gambles against Romo is the minute the ref is raising his hand to signal six points.

“Tony will see the field,” said defensive coordinator Billy Davis. “He’s got vision of the whole field and he’ll find the guy that just [you] drift off of and we can’t drift off our coverage.”

Of course, sometimes Romo’s great elusiveness can get him into trouble. One of the knocks on him is that he throws into traffic too often.

“When you study him over time, he’s either really hot or really off,” Davis said. “He may be first-half hot, second-half cold, and vice versa. You have to play him all the way through four quarters.”

Romo holds the third-best passer rating in all of football, at 108.6.

“He’s a good player. He’s a top quarterback in this league, and he shows it on film,” Ryans said.

And the Eagles’ defense will have its hands full, not only with Romo, but with all the playmakers around him. The Cowboys enter Sunday’s game ranked No. 7 in passing yards (1,590), No. 2 in points (30.5) and No. 6 in first downs (126). With all that Texas gun-slinging going on, the focus will be on stopping the aerial attack. Still, the Birds need to guard against the tiniest threat of a running game.

“They’re a pass-first team, so we have to focus on the pass first,” Ryans said. “But, we can’t completely forget about the run because they do have a solid offensive line that does a good job of protecting and run-blocking, so we still have to be protective of the run.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."