Tony Romo always had a No. 1 receiving threat in his time with the Dallas Cowboys.
Whether it was Terrell Owens early in his career, Miles Austin in the middle of it, or Dez Bryant at the end, Romo had a go-to guy.
Dak Prescott won’t have that luxury in 2018. Owner Jerry Jones made it clear during the NFL Draft last week that the Cowboys planned to go with a committee approach at wide receiver rather than a true No. 1.
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"Initially, there will be some success because it’ll be hard [for opposing defenses] to determine who to double team and what they’re going to do defensively, it’ll be a little more random," said Romo, who shot a 5-over 77 in a local U.S. Open qualifier at Gleneagles Country Club on Monday.
"What happens is when the tape gets out there throughout the season, it gets more difficult throughout the season. Teams, once they get tape on you, then your big-time players need to step up and create plays. That’s something they’ll have to overcome a little bit, but someone will step up.
"I think when Miles was here he wasn’t Miles before he was Miles. I know that’s a funny way of saying it, but he became Miles Austin because he had that opportunity. I think the Cowboys know that and they’re hoping that someone else can step up and do that same thing."
Romo, who is now CBS Sports’ lead NFL analyst, pointed to Terrance Williams as a receiver who has potential to emerge in 2018. Williams had a career-high in touchdowns (eight) with Romo as quarterback in 2014, and coincidentally caught the final touchdown pass Romo threw in his career at the end of 2016.
"Terrance Williams is an underrated receiver," Romo said. "I think he has an opportunity to step up now and we’ll see how it plays out."
As far as Bryant, Romo sees a player who can make a significant impact on whatever team he joins before the season. Romo vouched for Bryant as a teammate and believes there is a misconception on Bryant’s antics on the sidelines.
"Dez is a good teammate and I think sometimes that might get lost in the way of the emotional aspect of things," Romo said. "If I was talking to any of the GMs or coaches, I would tell them – he’s not going to hurt the locker room in any possible way. He’s going to come out and, you know, he’ll be a great teammate when he gets there.
"I think he’ll have a couple options here soon. For him, it’s just going to be a matter of having a vertical route stem type of team."
Romo paused and laughed at the last statement, telling reporters: "You know what all of that means."