Dec 11, 2011; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) meets with owner Jerry Jones prior to the game against the New York Giants at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Jerry Jones To Tony Romo: “No more creating plays in the huddle!”


During Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys Blue and White Scrimmage, owner and general manager Jerry Jones had some very interesting things to say about quarterback Tony Romo and his past actions in the huddle. Jones was interviewed by Brad Sham and Mickey Spagnola during their live commentary of the scrimmage, which was simulcast on dallascowboys.com and during the Ben & Skin radio show on 105.3 The Fan.

When asked about what he was looking forward to the most  in the scrimmage and about Romo’s touchdown pass to tight end Jason Witten from earlier in the practice, Jones expressed his confidence in Romo:

“If you look at our stats, we have been so productive over the years when Romo is in here literally making the calls. (He’s) got an idea, right now, of what he’s going to be going with. And really running the offense down the field. That’s one of the things that really got us encouraged too. Cause we think he’s at that stage in his career where he can do a lot of this on the field for us, not just in two minute drill situations.”

After a quick play call by Sham, Jones continued with his thoughts. But it is here where I think he went off the rails a bit and revealed more about the quarterbacks past actions then he probably wanted to:

“The trade offs that we’re having here is if we will incorporate a lot of the things that Romo likes, then the trade off is that he will never draw one up in the huddle again. (commentators laugh) And that is the trade off. Seriously. I say that with a straight face. But that’s the deal. If we practice them, we practice them on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. If we practice them here in training camp, we won’t be drawing anymore plays up in the huddle, in the dirt. And that should help us not make mistakes. That should help his receivers know more what to do. Help him have a better feel for where the defense is going to be. I think it’s gonna be a win-win.”

What Jones is implying here is despite the well-publicized offensive wizardry of head coach Jason Garrett, that Romo had a tendency to simply create his own plays in the huddle. Drawing up plays “in the dirt” as Jones so eloquently put it, like you do when your playing with your buddies in the backyard.

This brings up all kinds of questions about the Cowboys past offensive problems: Was Romo frustrated by Garrett’s repetitive play calls? How successful was Romo’s off-the-cuff play-calling? Did this cause a rift between Garrett and Romo? If so, could it be the catalyst for why Bill Callahan will be the new offensive play-caller this season? Did Romo feel like he could override the head coach whenever he didn’t like a play? And how much of the Cowboy offensive inconsistency can be contributed to this? Did the Cowboys ever lose a game or games because Romo called his own plays?

And this statement also seems to clear up a bit of the picture concerning Jones’ earlier statements about Romo’s work ethic. Saying Tony needed to put more time in during practices, film study and in the locker room. He called it “Peyton Manning-type time”.

Jones continued in his interview to make it clear that he does not want Romo drawing up plays in the dirt anymore:

“Let’s make a deal, so to speak. No more creating plays in the huddle. Let’s create them on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Or let’s create them in training camp. Incorporate them as part of your base, of which everybody here with, Romo’s experience (in) Garrett offense, knows the base.”

How much would you like to bet that this little issue came up during contract extension discussions? Sounds a bit like Romo already thinks he’s an offensive coordinator, doesn’t it? But realistically, how many NFL quarterbacks do you think call their own plays from time-to-time? I’m sure Peyton Manning does. In fact, you could probably fire the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator right now and they’d still play the same this season.

But Jones clearly thinks this is something that Romo needs to stop doing in the huddle, if he’s going to grow as a quarterback. And the coaches are incorporating the plays into their existing playbook that Romo liked to run when Garrett’s play-calling wasn’t cutting it. I guess that’s what they meant when they said they wanted him to be more involved in the offensive play-calling scheme. Buy hey, if Romo doesn’t like what Callahan and Garrett come up with, there’s always the dirt!

Tags: Blue And White Scrimmage Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones Tony Romo

  • Wasnt Mee

    Remember when the QB ran the offense anyway? All of them did it until Landry changed it if I recall. Seriously our QB understands where he sees a weakness by now. Maybe he can just play now and win because he won’t have any excuses now.

    • Ronald W. Jones

      QB’s don’t call plays anymore…from Jr. High…to High School…to College. It’s a lost art form. Coaches don’t trust them.

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    Jerry Jones is just envious because deep down he wants to call the plays.

  • Fatfan

    Steven do you REALLY think Romo was successful drawing up plays “in the dirt” going against successful defensive coordinators. do you REALLY think Jones would have said “no more” if was truly successful at it? You even stated the rest of the team, (w.r.), could stay on the same page as Romo by not doing this. Just goes to show that maybe some of these wrong routs, and professionals not knowing where to line-up may have more to do with Romo than them being suddenly ignorant of the playbook.

    This article must be insulting to Offensive Coordinators around the league.

    • JoeDaBeast

      Fatfan, you fail to realize that many receivers understand that after they run their route, to gauge where their quarterback is at, and adjust accordingly. If they run a shallow route, they run a mid to long route, or vice versa. Most offensive coordinators actually teach that.

  • Ronald W. Jones

    DALLAS COWBOY OFFENSIVE STRATEGERY FOR 2013 WITH QB TONY ROMO – - – - DeMarco, I’m gonna fake it to you…..Dwayne, you go over the middle…..Miles, you go 10 yards and turn left…..Jason you go 15 yards and turn around…..Dez, you go long. On two…ready! BREAK!

  • Patrick Bennett

    i dont see the same way ….. i see it as jerry saying instead of romo HAVING to draw it up in the huddle (his fav plays) Jason and Calahan are going to incorporate the plays into the offensive as to see all the guys are on the same page and have ran the plays before bottom line its giving tony the opportunity to be a part of the offensive design and his fav plays wont have to be drawn up in the huddle and we have miscommunications they will now be incorporated into the offense for tony !!!

  • Todd Tabb

    Wow…BTW has anyone seen Alex Tanney on youtube…that dude has to be the next QB for DC in say 2-3 years..he is literally a superhero!

  • http://tinyurl.com/CowboyBooksBlog fgoodwin

    Jerry is so full of sh*t I have absolutely NO confidence that he has ANY idea what he’s talking about.