Redskins defense braces for Romo after quarterback’s 500-yard game

October 9, 2013

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is coming off a 506-yard, five-touchdown passing performance against the Broncos as he prepares to face the Redskins on Sunday night (Associated Press).

With the Washington Redskins on their bye weekend, cornerback Josh Wilson watched portions of the Dallas Cowboys’ game last Sunday against the Denver Broncos. It was a horror show of sorts for a defensive back, especially with both teams on the Redskins’ upcoming schedule, as the Broncos beat the Cowboys, 51-48.

“I saw the second half of the game and I saw a lot of points, a lot of passing from both teams,” Wilson said Wednesday at Redskins Park. “We’ve got both of those guys on the schedule and that seems like a long day at the office.”

The Redskins play at Dallas on Sunday night with Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo coming off a 506-yard, five-touchdown passing performance against the Broncos.

“I’m glad it’s not just us,” Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield said. “It’s hard to play defense in this league nowadays. There’s a lot of points being scored, a lot of yardage. And the rules are tougher than ever, combined with the schemes being more advanced than ever. It’s just hard to get stops, especially against a talented offense.

“We’re gonna have our plan. We’re gonna go out there and try to execute. We’re gonna try and make them one-dimensional. But if the one dimension can throw for 500 [yards] and five touchdowns, it’s not really ideal. So it’s tough. It’s tough. We’ve got to force turnovers throughout the game. We’ve got to make big plays when they arise. We’re gonna count on our offense to be the offense that we know they can be. And they’re gonna score some points and that’s gonna help us get in a situation where they can be one-dimensional and we can really rush the quarterback.”

Romo was sacked four times against the Broncos but also repeatedly evaded Denver’s pass rushers on improvisational plays that led to completions.

“A lot of quarterbacks want to get rid of the ball,” Cofield said. “They want to get that pressure off of them. They throw it out of bounds, they feel like they’ve done their job. His willingness to extend plays, his ability to make those throws from any type of body position and his trust he has in his receivers make him a tough test.”

Said Wilson: “It makes our job incredibly hard. Any time you play a mobile quarterback, it’s difficult. You don’t per se see him as a read-option quarterback. But he knows how to get away from the pressure, kind of move and buy himself time. And Dez [Bryant] and all their receivers know how to do these scramble routes and get open, as you saw last week with him and Dez on the Broncos on that deep ball. It’s a simple play that went bad as the time went on.”

Wilson said the members of the Redskins’ secondary will have to be mindful of Romo’s ability to make something seemingly out of nothing.

“It makes you stay alert for longer,” Wilson said. “You can’t ever decelerate. You can’t ever let these guys lull you to sleep. Dez will sit there and slow down, and you can’t let your coverage stop even when you think the play might be over.”

Cofield said the Redskins’ pass rushers also must adjust.

“You have to be willing to rush for four, five, six seconds,” Cofield said. “Normally the ball is out of the quarterback’s hands in two or three seconds. But he’s willing to extend the play. So you have to be willing to extend the play. You have to rotate. Guys are going to get tired chasing him around for 50, 60 snaps. You’ve just got to trust the guy behind you. You’ve got to trust that your backup will come in and do the job.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.

● An update on Cofield’s hand, comments from Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III news conferences.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

Young: Fixing small things will fix the offense

D.C. Sports Bog: Doughty’s impressive LinkedIn page | More

Not underestimating the Cowboys | Snyder’s letter to fans

Cowboys’ defense slow to adjust to Kiffin | Hall ready to rise to face Bryant

The Early Lead: Staubach defends Cowboys’ Romo More NFL

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mike Jones · October 9, 2013

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