Cowboys offensive player to watch: Tony Romo

TONY ROMO

How he beats you: The ninth-year veteran receives a fair share of criticism for failing to take care of the ball at critical moments, but there’s no denying he is a talented, mobile, improvising quarterback. After last week, when he suffered a cracked rib and punctured lung and came back to lead his team to an overtime victory, there’s also no denying that the 6-foot-2, 228-pound Romo’s toughness. “He’s always been able to keep plays alive, buy time in the pocket, let guys get open,” Redskins” linebacker London Fletcher says of the slippery Romo, who this season has passed for 687 yards, four touchdowns and an interception while posting a quarterback rating of 108.8.

How to stop him: The Redskins must pressure Romo as they do any quarterback, so he doesn’t get comfortable and have time to pick them apart. But at the same time, they have to work to keep him in the pocket so he can’t hurt them with his legs. “You try to keep the guy in the pocket, don’t get out of your rushing lanes and things like that, but he’s pretty good at even finding those lanes and also buying time,” Fletcher said.

Bottom line: Romo has said that it hurts to breathe, but the Cowboys still are expecting him to play on Monday, hoping the extra day of rest helps him recover a bit more. He can be dangerous even when at less than 100 percent, as the 49ers saw last week. But Romo definitely will have a target on him. Look for the Redskins to try to get their licks in to diminish his effectiveness and force him into more mental errors. And if Romo isn’t able to start, or finish the game, the Cowboys have a capable backup in Jon Kitna, who last season passed for 305 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-30 victory over the Redskins.

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