The Cowboys came into their Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Redskins with the #27th ranked Red Zone offense in terms of TD percentage. In previous games, the biggest offender of the Cowboys’ inefficiency in close was their penchant for penalties. Yesterday, it was a poor job of recognition by QB Tony Romo, who had the opportunity to throw one of the easiest TD passes of his life… if only he had seen it.
Instead, he hit a different receiver for a nice gain, but it was not his best option. Here’s the play. At the snap, Cole Beasley, lined up in the slot, will take a step to the outside before running straight upfield. It appears that the purpose of his route is to create a pick for Romo’s primary option, Dez Bryant, who is running a drag route underneath:
Cedric Griffin (circled in blue) has man coverage on Dez, while Perry Riley (circled in yellow) appears to be playing an underneath zone:
As the routes develop, both Griffin and Riley follow Dez as Beasley runs vertically:
Romo completes his pass to Dez, and Dez even gets some nice YAC for a gain of 11:
However, here was what Romo saw. He’s staring down Dez, and somehow misses Beasley, who is right in his line of vision:
By the time Romo releases the ball, there isn’t a defender within 15 yards of Beasley:
The Redskins served up a busted coverage right on a platter, but as it turned out, the Cowboys’ drive would stall and they would settle for 3. Huge missed opportunity.