IRVING, Texas — After Tony Romo signed a new contract in the offseason, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said his quarterback would be putting in “Peyton Manning-type time on the job” around the practice facility.
Now Romo is facing Manning’s Denver Broncos on Sunday, and it’s clear that Jones’ statement was no swipe at Romo for not spending enough time preparing for games. Rather, as Romo agreed, it was about giving Romo more input into the offensive plan.
“Absolutely,” Romo said Thursday. “You can go talk to Jerry and ask him what he meant exactly, but when we communicated all the different times and stuff, it was just about having played the position for an extended period of time as a quarterback in the National Football League. You just learn through experiences and you understand what things can help the football team.”
Few quarterbacks have the leeway Manning has in running an offense. He’s been described as basically being his own offensive coordinator.
“Peyton does a great job of getting them into certain things and I think you want to just incorporate things like that into your offensive system,” Romo said. “It’s always a bonus and a positive.”
Romo may not be at Manning’s level of authority with the offense, but he has been given more leeway to change plays at the line of scrimmage this season. That change has come after putting in “Manning time” during the week, which Romo said really isn’t about the amount of time spent preparing but the ability to have more say in the planning.
“You’re always watching a lot of tape, I don’t think that changes,” Romo said. “The difference is just some of the ideas and the things you want to implement and put into the base plan, and each day it goes from there.