More Reasons Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo Will Excel in 2012: Jimmy Robinson


In part one of this series, I argued that Dallas Cowboy QB Tony Romo would be even better than in 2011 because a healthy DeMarco Murray and free agent FB Lawrence Vickers would substantially improve the Cowboys rushing attack, thereby allowing Jason Garrett to call a more balanced game, which in turn would make Romo’s job easier.  In part two, I argued that two new coaches (Mike Woicik and Bill Callahan), coupled with the youth and inexperience of much of the OL, meant that the OL had to improve in 2012, which will hopefully avoid the need for Romo to play with a broken rib or punctured lung.

Everyone is lamenting the loss of Laurent Robinson.  He made some great plays for the Cowboys last year, and just about every Cowboy fan wanted Robinson to remain in Dallas at a reasonable price. The Jackonville Jaguars overpaid for him; Jerry Jones did the right thing by letting Robinson walk. Remember that he was getting open when defenses were trying to cover Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten.

The point is this: even without Laurent Robinson or signing a big-name free agent, the Cowboys WR’s will be better as a unit in 2012.

The main reason is Jimmy Robinson.  He was hired in February 2011 to be the WR coach. He is widely regarded one of the best receivers’ coaches in the NFL.  He was part of the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Staff, and his resume boasts an impressive list of All-Pro receivers. Some give him a lot of the credit for Laurent Robinson’s ability to understand and then thrive in the offense so quickly last year.

In addition to his football expertise, Robinson brings a new style to the receiver’s coach position.  Unlike the previous coach, Ray Sherman, who was known as a ‘player’s coach’, Johnson is more of a strict disciplinarian.

Robinson’s position on the staff is important in several ways. First, his regimented and strict style is the kind of structure that Dez Bryant needs at this stage in his career.  It also fits in with Jason Garrett’s overall management style much better than Ray Sherman’s did.

Second, Robinson’s ability to develop young WR’s, a skill he is renowned for, is essential to the Cowboys offensive success.  The Dallas Cowboys really have only one veteran: Miles Austin.  They also have Kevin Ogletree, who is entering his 4th NFL season, but many are predicting he will not make it through Training Camp.  Behind Austin, Dez, and Ogletree, the Cowboys have Dwayne Harris who saw very limited action last season, and  three WR’s, Raymond Radway, Teddy Williams, or Andre Holmes, who have never every played a snap in a NFL game. The Dallas Cowboys offense is going to be forced to rely on some very young and inexperienced receivers at some point this season; Jimmy Robinson’s track record of developing young WR’s is exactly why Jason Garrett brought him to Dallas and agreed to let him be the Asst. Head Coach.

Both Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett seem confident that Robinson will find a way to use the young receivers as an effective replacement for Laurent Robinson.  The early favorite to win the job as the 3rd receiver probably goes to Kevin Ogletree because of  his three years of experience.  However, there are many people who believe that Ogletree failed to capitalize on his opportunties last season, so the Cowboys are looking to replace him with someone younger who has more potential and can play special teams.

Don’t rule out the possibility of the Cowboys signing a veteran WR long after the draft like they did last year with Laurent.  But don’t be surprised if they head into the pre-season with Ogletree and Dwayne Harris as the only WR’s behind Austin and Bryant with any NFL experience.  Of the other three receivers (Raymond Radway, Andre Homes, and Teddy Williams), only Radway looks to have any hope of contributing this season, although Cowboy fans are all hopeful that Andre Holmes, because of his size (6’5” and 210 lbs.) can make the team and contribute.  You can read about all of the young WR’s here.

If the Cowboys don’t bring a veteran WR (it seems unlikely they would draft one in the early rounds), expect Jimmy Robinson to find a way to use Dwayne Harris, Raymond Radway, and possibly Kevin Ogletree, to adequately replace Laurent Robinson.

If Raymond Radway can get on the field, he has something the Dallas Cowboys offense has not had in a long time, and something that will help Tony Romo immensely: breakaway speed.  Radway was having an excellent camp last year, impressing everyone with some diving catches and leaping grabs.  He will be given an opportunity to play.

Having a WR with genuine sprinter speed to stretch the defense would help the Cowboys in a plethora of ways. It would certainly make Tony Romo’s job much easier.

IF Andre Holmes can get on the field, he will give Romo a redzone target that is every QB’s dream: a 6’5” frame with a 35 inch vertical.

The next article in this series will look at Jimmy Robinson’s impact on the veteran WR’s of the Dallas Cowboys.

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