Cowboys will run the ball to keep Tony Romo healthy

Dallas Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones knows the only way the team will win is if Tony Romo stays healthy for the entire 2016 season.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about Tony’s health,” Jones told the XEPRS-AM in San Diego, via SportsDay. “We’ve got to keep him healthy.”

So how can the Cowboys achieve this? They plan on running the ball relentlessly to protect the veteran quarterback, which seems like a given considering the No. 4 overall selection of running back Ezekiel Elliott.

“We did (make) a big pick (with first-round running back) Ezekiel Elliott that I think really helps everybody. Not only going to help the rushing game, but because he is so gifted catching the ball out of the backfield, pass protection. I think all of that will do a lot to Tony and at the same time take a lot of the pressure off the defense in terms of controlling the ball like we did two years ago. We’re excited about where we sit right now as a team.”

Jones also made a point of mentioning how Elliott’s presence in the lineup gives the offense flexibility and unpredictability on third downs. Teams can’t just assume it’s going to be a passing play, considering Elliott’s ability to break off huge chunks of yardage behind the team’s outstanding offensive line. Lining up in nickel and dime packages wouldn’t necessarily be a great idea if Zeke is lined up behind Romo in those situations.

The Cowboys also have Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris. Both veteran backs have piled up yardage in the past, and combined with Elliott they could represent the best trio in the NFL.

On paper, this offense looks terrifying. When the Cowboys do pass the ball, Dez Bryant and Co. have what it takes to make huge plays through the air. Combined with a potent rushing attack and Romo — one of the most gifted passers in the NFL — it will be hard to keep Dallas from dominating on this side of the ball.

Of course, this is all theoretical right now. On paper, we’re looking at a championship-caliber offense. But the game isn’t played on paper. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out. Last year’s squad had a championship feel, too. Then Romo was knocked out, and we all know what happened after that.