You wouldn't expect Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to be playing favorites among the candidates for the team's No. 3 wide receiver spot, and he's not. According to Tim MacMahon, Romo has a very basic blueprint for anyone from that group of candidates wishing to assume the role of Laurent Robinson replacement:
"We want somebody to come in and grab that spot," Romo said during the first week of OTAs. "Guys have got to work their butt off. They've got to develop a rapport with me and they've got to know the offense. When they do that, they'll have a great chance, because we've got some guys who have some ability in this room."
Say whatever you want about Romo, but anyone who rises from the ranks of the undrafted to become the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys knows something about hard work. And he's right -- assuming they don't find a bargain-bin veteran the way they did last year with Robinson, the winner of the offseason competition between Kevin Ogletree, Andre Holmes, Raymond Radway, Dwayne Harris and Danny Coale is likely to be the one who works the hardest and performs the best on the field.
Romo will have a role here as well, and he understands it's part of his responsibility to help develop that next No. 3 wide receiver, whoever he may be. It's not as though there's no track record here. Wide receivers have developed and developed quickly with Romo. Robinson and Miles Austin stand as examples of this, and while fans may not be satisfied with the speed of Dez Bryant's development, he has been a very productive young player and he speaks about Romo with something like reverence. As is the case in New York, where young receivers spend time in the Friday meeting room watching Eli Manning watch film and listening to him break down plays, any Cowboys receiver who wants more catches would do well to stick close to Romo and soak up whatever he has to offer. The thing that made Robinson so productive last year was the confidence Romo had in him, and that's a direct result of practice-field and film-room chemistry.