Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Romo protecting the ball better in '09

Posted on December 14, 2009 at 7:30 PM
Updated yesterday at 12:42 AM

I've addressed this topic twice before in this forum, and I think it's important to revisit again. Tony Romo is doing a much better job of protecting the football this year than he did last year. He made a point to work on it during the off-season, and his work is paying off.

2008: 21 turnovers in 13 games (14 interceptions, 7 fumbles)

2009: 11 turnovers in 13 games (7 interceptions, 4 fumbles)

More importantly, Romo had his third straight turnover-free game in the loss to San Diego, and he's had six such games in '09. Last year, he played in only one game in which he didn't turn the ball over.

I've used this Romo quotation a couple times this season, because it's very telling. He said it after the Cowboys beat Carolina, in which Romo threw for 255 yards and 0 interceptions. At that point, Romo had started six games in 2009 - three pre-season games and three regular season games. Here's what he said after the game:

"You know if you think about it, i feel pretty strongly -- in 6 games, that's four no-turnover games, and I think that's hard to do at this position, but that's something that excites me when I think about. It's there, and it's very possible to do it, you just have to always have that thought process in your brain, the ball is important. It really matters a lot. And that's part of the thing and as you grow and get older you gain an understanding. Sometimes you have to go through the growing pains to get there. There are plenty of quarterbacks I've talked to have told me the same thing. But you have to work at it - you really do, and I think that's been our goal and it's exciting to see improvement as a player."

The Dallas Cowboys are not without problems, but their quarterback isn't one of them.