Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Maybe it's me but the WCO bread-and-butter passing play is the slant. How many slants have you seen in two complete games? Not many. Why? Because Smith is not a QB who can throw timing passes without telegraphing his throw. He's not a WCO QB. This offense requires quick passes not just to RBs but over the middle. Smith rarely every threw to the middle of the field where Dallas is at its weakest - LBs covering TEs. The one TD by Walker where this happened was a formation that looked like a run where both Walker and Davis were on the same side of the field, Davis draws the double-team and Walker is ISO one-on-one. Again this wasn't a pass over the middle, it was a pass to the sidelines.
I have been a Smith supporter but it's so clear to me now more than ever that he is by far the limiting factor on this team. He simply cannot reliably throw a pass over the middle - the three-step drop slant/timing pattern to his WRs that Romo was throwing all day long. We were getting pressure on Romo all game, but he just started throwing the ball faster 3 or 5 steps (mostly 3) - timing pattern to his WRs in the open spots against our zone defense. Smith is most limited when he has to play behind center. He just doesn't read the defense well or understands what's going on because that's where most of the sacks came. When under center, he didn't change his cadence and usually audibled to a running play - never a passing play.
I'm not saying Smith is responsible for this game because clearly there were key mistakes everywhere, but you cannot ask Smith ever to put the game on his shoulders and make plays. He's just not capable. He reminds me of a Trent Dilfer type QB. However teams with those types of QBs in today's NFL aren't going very far.
He is much more accurate than Dilfer. Yesterday was on the defense and offensive line. Smith threw the pick, but the line play and defensive breakdowns are what cost the game. Before this year, if the run game was shut down, the team had no chance, this year Smith has been making plays when the line has given him time. The biggest issues on this team are oline play and defensive breakdowns. Qb play has not cost us anything.
You're right I'm not talking about what "cost" us the game. OL play wasn't the best but you're never going to get perfect OL play. My argument is that Smith needs a perfect situation to win a game. The defensive secondary zone scheme and confusion at times simply couldn't get it together. I completely agree, However, you have to agree Smith can't throw a slant consistently. I didn't say he was Dilfer, but like Dilfer in terms of being limited in what he can do as a QB in a given system. Smith is successful when the line blocks perfectly and he has time within a given play however, Smith is limited. He simply can't throw over the middle of the field reliably compared to Romos almost routine throw to Witten against a zone. Dallas OL was getting blown up by our 4 down rushers. The difference is that Romo regularly got the ball off so quickly - most times before the rush arrived. Timing and placement. Smith still struggles with this.
RE: Middle zones.
Romo had two BIG advantages.
1. Jason Witten
is the best pass receiving TE in football and his greatest strength is Vernon Davis' greatest weakness; Witten can read and adjust his routes better than anyone else in the game in recent years. That is why he has been to 7 Pro Bowls. We saw the results.
2. Unlike Smith, Romo was able to take advantage of the soft zone
that Fangio called all day long. It was custom-made to complete those middle throws to Witten. Rob Ryan, in contrast, had Sean Lee dropping into those short zones all day long, and with Vernon held in to block, the slant was never there. That same zone also made it possible for Dallas to complete the slants and then with DBs taking terrible angles on the receiver, turn into long gains.
If we are going to compare two QBs, we also have to look at what is around them. Romo had two of his top three targets available to him and Smith's top target was a 4th stringer.