Patriots vs Cowboys: Romo Will Fall In One Day

Tony Romo Patriots

This please.

NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed

It’s always fun when America’s team comes to town. The fact that the Patriots are wearing their white jerseys at home, forcing the Cowboys to wear their “jinxed” blue jerseys adds even more fun into the mix.

The Patriots are facing a very talented Cowboys team this weekend and here’s some of the things I’ll be watching:

GET PRESSURE ON ROMO
I’m a little sick of talking about the Patriots pass rush (or lack thereof) at this point, but here we go. Tony Romo won’t make Romo-esque mistakes if he’s not getting pressured. We saw the same thing last week with Mark Sanchez. The Patriots couldn’t get consistent pressure on him and we didn’t get any turnovers. The problem here is that Romo is a lot better than Sanchez and he’s got far better offensive weapons around him. At this point, Romo is probably the most underrated QB in the league. He’s talked down because of his fourth quarter “unclutch” play, but without that he holds up as a top 7 or 8 QB in the league.

The Patriots will need to win the turnover battle this week to win and the key to get turnovers is to get pressure on Romo. Rob Ninkovich and Mark Anderson have been the best Patriots pass rushers this year, watch for them to make an impact against the Cowboys young offensive line. With Phillip Adams cut today, that might mean good news for Ras-I Dowling. Dowling has been out since week 2 and would be a great matchup against Bryant or Austin. Dowling is a big, fast, physical CB who played very well against Brandon Marshall and the Chargers big WRs.

CONTAIN FELIX JONES
It’s been a theme all year and Felix Jones is the exact kind of running back the Patriots might have trouble with. Vince Wilfork, Shaun Ellis, Kyle Love and Andre Carter have had no trouble stopping RBs running inside the tackles, but when backs start to run to the outside, it forces Brandon Spikes and Gary Guyton into action. The Patriots linebackers and Patrick Chung will need to do a good job of containment to make sure Jones doesn’t break off any big plays. Carter has been very good against the run the last couple weeks, he could be very big in stopping Jones.

The zone defense the Patriots have been utilizing the past couple weeks also seems to open up the flat a little bit for dump offs and check down to running backs. Jones is also an explosive threat in the passing game if he gets some open space in front of him could be trouble. The linebackers will have to do a better job in coverage than they have recently.

SAFETIES NEED TO HAVE A BIG GAME
Between helping out against Jones, covering Jason Witten and helping over the top on Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, the safeties are going to have to play their best game of the season. Chung is far and away the best safety on the roster, but he still tends to struggle in coverage against speedier WRs. Ihedigbo did a good job against his former team last week, but there’s also a reason that last week was the former Minuteman’s first career NFL start. Regardless of the role the safeties are playing Sunday, they’re definitely going to have to step up their game for the Patriots to win.

ATTACK THE COWBOYS SECONDARY EARLY AND OFTEN
This is the second week in a row facing a Ryan-manned defense and the second year in a row facing a Rob Ryan lead defense. The former Patriots linebackers coach knows New England and Bill Belichick like few other coaches in the NFL and will surely have complex game plan prepared. According to Evan Silva from rotoworld, last season the Browns double teamed Welker and Branch, wouldn’t let Gronkowski get off the line into routes and basically let Hernandez run free. The Pats TEs were still inexperienced at the time and the Patriots couldn’t get anything going in their running game.

I’m looking forward to the Welker-Orlando Scandrick matchup and I don’t think the Cowboys have anyone to cover Gronkowski or Hernandez. With Hernandez back, that opens up a lot of room for Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco. I’m assuming that Danny Woodhead will be questionable this week against Dallas. If he’s back that opens the no-huddle offense back up for the Patriots, which means that 400-500 yards is never out of the question for Tom Brady.

STOP DEMARCUS WARE
With a team full of dangerous weapons, Ware might be the scariest. He’s the best pass rusher in the league and he lines up all over the field. Luckily, it looks like Sebastian Vollmer might be back this week. Thomas Welch filled in fine as a 3rd TE/OL, but having Light, Vollmer and Solder on the field at the same team will be huge in stopping the Cowboys pass rush.

Dan Gronkowski is also back with the team this week and will definitely get some playing time as a blocking 3rd TE. The key every week is to keep Brady on his feet. The Cowboys have thirteen sacks already this season. I’d like to see their average sacks/game go down after week five.

GET BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS AND STEVAN RIDLEY INVOLVED EARLY
The key last in last week’s victory was the Patriots balanced offense. It’s going to be extremely difficult to stop this New England offense if they can be effective in the run and passing game. Green-Ellis got on a roll last week, but it could be Ridley or even Woodhead this week. Since the Patriots almost always have two tight ends on the field at the same time and only run one RB sets outside of the goal line, they can switch between run and passing plays at will.

INACTIVES PREDICTION:
Mayo, Mallett, Vereen, Price, Barrett, Marcus Harrison, Tarpinian

Tags: Game Preview, Patrick Chung

16 Responses to “Patriots vs Cowboys: Romo Will Fall In One Day”

  1. Cash says:

    I just hope the pats aren’t looking too much towards the bye. Trap gamE could happen

  2. cash says:

    Im a little worried about this game. Just because Romo isnt as bad as people say he is. I agree with Doug that if it werent for his late game misques that get talked about, people would see a pretty good qb. The pats must get pressure on him to force those mistakes.

    • Lundahl says:

      the huge thing about Romo is he forces mistakes by himself. You don’t have to force him, he makes them. When he rolls out, that means it’s good for us. Plus, his best games were when he was on cortisone. If he’s not on cortisone, then he’ll have a bad game.

    • Doug Kyed says:

      Without the miscues, Romo is an elite QB.

      • Ken W says:

        I wouldn’t say he is elite I would say he is in the 2nd tier of qb’s after Brady, Manning, Rogers, and Brees.

      • Lundahl says:

        Elite QBs don’t choke, elite QBs are perfect when you got to be perfect. That’s why Brady is elite, because he hardly makes any mistakes.

      • TD says:

        Doug did not say he WAS ELITE, but that he COULD be.

        I think he now has a lot of making up for past gaffes in order to be called elite. He would have to lead his team to a super bowl win at this point. The “bad” Romo is much like the “bad” Favre; snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  3. TD says:

    I’d say up tempo the game on offense, get a lead and put the pressure on Romo to do what he does worst-make quick decisions in the passing game.

    This means we need receivers to get open quickly and OL pass block.

  4. Lundahl says:

    “He’s the best pass rusher in the league and he lines up all over the field. ”

    WRONG ! JARED ALLEN IS THE BEST !

    • Doug Kyed says:

      You are obsessed with Jared Allen.

      • Lundahl says:

        I’m a big fan of this guy. I met him once. How can I not be obsessed with him ? Plus, somebody has to, the guy is so insulted and denigrated by the medias, he needs loud support.

  5. Lundahl says:

    Cowboy’s rushing attack: 86.8 (26th). Felix Jones struggled to stay healthy an entire game.

    THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS 18/52

    SACKS ALLOWED: 13. Cowboy’s O-line has been very questionable so far.

    Allowed 101 points (25.2/g), 23rd.

    Rob Ryan’s Last year’s Cleveland game was completely different. Patriots fumbled a ton of times and Hillis actually ran the ball.

    Romo only plays well when he’s on cortisone. So unless he’s on cortisone this week, expect at least two turnovers.
    Forcing Tony Romo to roll out could turn out into big benefits.

    Cowboys do not have the secondary playmakers that can stop the Patriots offensive weapons.

    Cowboys’ offense hasn’t set a rhythm.

    No defensive lineman has actually been able to sack Brady when the Patriots offense are running the no huddle.

    Cowboys have not faced the Packers, the Saints or even the Falcons. They haven’t faced real contenders so far. There are more concerns for the Cowboys than the Patriots. Pats win by minimum 10 pts.

    • DWE says:

      ? If there are so many more concerns for them than us, then shouldn’t we win by at least 20 by your definitions ?

  6. DWE says:

    Defencive Line – will have to contain the run “either in or outside” no matter who has the ball & no matter if it’s handed off or it’s a small cheese pass out of the backfield. As well no matter what yardage they need to move the chains, be it 1.25 yard’s anywhere or on a 1st and 10 play…..Shut it down early & *Force Tony Romo to throw all day!

    Safeties and Corner Backs – Will have to shut down any and all long passes & do it without penalties. *Help keep the specific yardage per pass at a time to an absolute minimum-only short to maybe medium passes can be let to be had with any ease.

    Offensive Line – Rotation…, fresh meat will last longer and hold up better against to blitz, which I expect a bunch of.

    Wide Out’s – Chad Johnson MUST SHOW UP!



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