by Matt Bowen
January 14, 02010
Talking to my guys Matt and Adam on Sports Talk 790 in Houston this morning, our playoff conversation shifted to the Cowboys-Vikings game on Sunday — and to Brett Favre.
From what they were hearing, Favre had become a freelancer, running the offense in Minnesota like I used to when I played at the park after school — calling my own plays in the huddle while my buddies and I pretended to be the ’85 Bears.
We all know this is where the drama started in Minnesota, complete with the sideline confrontation between Favre and head coach Brad Childress. Reports said it carried over to the locker room. It captured the blogs for a couple of weeks and then vanished after the Vikes pounded the Giants and secured a No. 2 seed and first-round bye in the playoffs.
However, if this is still the case, and if Favre — and not Childress — is running the show in Minnesota, I really don’t have any issues with it if the game plan is balanced and we see Adrian Peterson getting enough touches to move the Vikings into the NFC Championship game the following week.
In Dallas, it’s the complete opposite. We all understand that the Cowboys’ Tony Romo has been compared with Favre ever since he took over the role as the starting QB. They both took chances, they both played like they had nothing to lose, and they both were not afraid to throw the ball into coverage — in hopes their guys would go up and make plays.
But the main reason the Cowboys are on a roll and have a shot to go on the road and pull off a playoff upset Sunday is the exact opposite: Romo is playing within offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s system in Dallas, and it’s working. There’s a balance in Dallas right now that has to stay. Felix Jones has become the Cowboys’ feature back, and with that comes Garrett’s running package of the Lead, the Lead Open, the Lead Draw and the outside zone that give Jones the edge of the defense to exploit.
In the passing game, we’re seeing a wide variety of schemes. The 3-step game to Miles Austin, the wide receiver screen and the various route combinations that put Austin in a situation where he can plays off TE Jason Witten.
And even Roy Williams, the receiver who was essentially left for dead, started to show up in the win over Philly last week.
All part of the game plan and all part of the success that Romo is having. Sure, we can compare him to Favre — because there are similarities in their games — but Favre is going to do his own thing with the Vikings. And it happens to work, so far.
But this game for Romo will only be successful if he continues to play his role as one of the weapons who have developed under Garrett’s play calling.
Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41