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November 07, 2013

Callahan says Cowboys threw so much last week because of Vikings scheme, plus their own TFLs, drops and penalties

Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan said Tony Romo could have completed 40 passes last week if not for the drops, saying it was the way to go based on how the Vikings were playing defense.

“We had some favorable matchups last week, and it showed itself,” Callahan said. “I truly believe Tony could have been 40-for-51. His numbers could have been unbelievably higher if we had not dropped some balls. I thought it could have been an unbelievable day for him.”

Romo went 34-for-51 as the Cowboys dumped thoughts about the run. Their nine attempts, including one run by Romo, were a franchise low.

“We felt going into last week’s game that we could attack the back end, and we thought there was some weaknesses,” Callahan said. “I think they had two starters out at the time. So we definitely attacked the back end a little bit more than we should’ve.”

But Callahan said that’s not enough reason not to run more.

“It’s no excuse. We’ve got to run the ball better,” he said. “But we did try to take advantage of some coverage elements, personnel, some of things that they were doing that kind of limited what their scheme was all about. So when you’ve got guys that get hurt, you’re going to have less coverage and they’re going to be more simple, or simplified, in that respect. So that’s some of the rationale that went into the attack last week.”

Callahan said the number of negative-yardage plays, penalties and drops put the Cowboys in extra passing downs, too.

“But I think the end result was good,” he said. “But looking back on it, we surely want to run the ball a lot more than that, and run it a lot better than that, as well.”

Callahan said the Cowboys trust Romo “completely” when it comes to checking out of runs, and they give him that ability.

So, Callahan was asked, can he put a percentage on how often Romo does that?

“No,” he said and smiled.

“It’s a good question, though. I like the question.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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