Why Tony Romo Will Excel in 2012: the OL, Mike Woicik, Bill Callahan


We recently featured an article about why Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo would excel in 2012. The article focused mainly on the addition of the new free agent FB Lawrence Vickers and the promise of a healthy DeMarco Murray. The basic idea was that a good running game would take the pressure off Romo, lead to less third-and-longs, and allow HC Jason Garrett to call a more balanced game. There are many more reasons to believe that Romo will have a better season that last years.

The OL will be better in 2012. The Cowboys coaching staff have confirmed that rookie sensation Tyron Smith will move to LT next year. Doug Free will move back to RT, the position where he has played his best football. Having Tyron Smith protecting Romo’s blindside and neutralizing opposing defense’s best pass-rusher will give Romo more time in the pocket.

The rest of the OL should improve as well. Even without the addition of the two free agents (Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings), the rest of the very young OL should improve from last year. Remember, many of the guys who played OL last year, basically everyone in the interior other than Montare Holland and Kyle Kosier, were very inexperienced. David Arkin, Bill Nagy, and Kevin Kowalski were all rookies. Phil Costa was essentially a rookie, having not played at all in 2010.

Not only were many of them rookies, they didn’t even have the benefit of a proper off-season.

Mike Woicik is a strength and conditioning genius. Woicik has been a part of six Super Bowl Championship teams. The importance of stamina and conditioning, especially in the fourth quarter of close games late in the season, is often overlooked.

Woicik will have a full off-season with the young linemen. Expect all of them to be bigger, stronger, and have much more endurance this season.

Hudson Houck did a great job for the Cowboys for many seasons. He retired after last season at the age of 69. ESPN has called him a “legend”.

He was replaced by the new OL Coach, Bill Callahan. Callahan is widely regarded as one of the best OL coaches in the NFL.

Given Callahan’s history of developing young lineman, it is hard to postulate a reasonable scenario in which he would do anything other than improve each of the young lineman.

The Cowboys will not likely target the OL in the early rounds, unless they trade down and take a center. The visit with David DeCastro was a classic Jerry Jones smokescreen; they don’t want DeCastro at 14.

If DeMarco can do anything close to a repeat performance of the 4 or 5 games he started last year, the OL will have a much easier job protecting Tony Romo.

They may bring in some depth at some point for the OL, but it won’t be in the early rounds unless someone with top tier talent falls unexpectedly.  It would not be shocking for the Dallas Cowboys to go to camp with just the two free agents and the four young guys to compete for three interior positions. Given the presence of Mike Woicik and Bill Callahan for a normal offseason, all of the young guys (Costa, Kowalski, Arkin and Nagy) should be significantly better than they were last year.

The exciting part will be watching the four youngsters battle it out in camp with the two veterans.

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