Film Breakdown: Tony Romo missed a wide open TD pass on a Redskins busted coverage

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.

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  1. Kilyin says:

    Watch the play. Nobody blocked the blitzing DB. Dez was the hot read. If Romo hadn’t thrown it to him when he did, that’s a sack. Pretty bush league article.

    1. Nonsense. The ball could have come out to Beasley the same time it came out to Dez. Beasley’s route didn’t require any extra time, especially considering there wasn’t anyone in the same zip code as him. You can even see Beasley looking back at the QB before Dez even has the ball in his hands.

      1. Kilyin says:

        Beasley never turns around until the ball is almost in Dez’s hands. Seriously, rewatch the play. Romo saw the unblocked blitzing DB coming free and threw the hot read. That’s what QBs are coached to do.

        1. The ball can be thrown before the receiver turns, and in most timing offenses (which Dallas runs), that’s usually the case. Romo could have lofted a touch pass to Beasley, who could have easily located the ball, caught it, and walked in for an easy TD.

          Romo took the easier read and got a decent gain. And you’re probably right that he’s taught to hit the quicker read if a rusher is coming free.

          They wound up with 3 points. Other QBs would have made the bigger play.

  2. Bailer3 says:

    Will his receivers make plays like that every week? I think not.
    Will he be able to out it into as tight of a window as he did yesterday? I think not.
    A lot of those balls were almost picked and there ver very few drops yesterday. You have to tip your hat to Redskins, they played very well and made very few mistakes. I don’t see that’s happening every week. They were on fire and it shied. If you look at Carolina and Pittsburg game you see what happens when there are drops and the picks are made on those throws.
    Newton had a great year as a rookie as well- how is year two working out for him?
    The league will adjust. There is a reason that more teams don’t run the option.

    1. john says:

      So your argument is that Griffin won’t be great if his receivers drop all his passes? That’s a great point. Just keep repeating that. Maybe it’ll help.

      1. Bailer3 says:

        I am saying that he had an exceptional game. Well above his season average. On Garçons Td run and catch he catches a poorly throw ball that was well behind him. Had the ball been missed the safety was waiting for the pick. Everything and I do mean everything broke right for Griffin yesterday. Newton was a leading yardage passer last year and did a lot with his feet. This year – not so much.

  3. Juz Sayin says:

    Bad news for Eagles & Cowboy fans ,RG3 gone be here a while!

  4. DerfDiggy says:

    Story of the Cowboys life. Wildly inconsistent. Can’t get out of their own way. I hate this got damn team.


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