NEW YORK — In watching Josh Allen's struggles Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, Tony Romo saw what many others did: a rookie quarterback who didn't get much help from his offensive line.
Romo strongly concurred with Allen's postgame comments to reporters, however, that he bore some of the responsibility for the five times he was sacked in the Buffalo Bills' 26-13 preseason loss.
To the former Dallas Cowboys QB and current No. 1 NFL analyst for CBS Sports, it is indicative of a shortcoming Allen needs to improve if he's going to live up to his lofty status as a seventh overall draft pick.
"The other night, you see him take a few sacks, and that's just part of growing up," Romo said during "The NFL on CBS" Media Day on Tuesday at the network's headquarters. "You'll see blitzes, you'll see stuff as you get older. The more concerning thing was just the feel. And when your O-linemen sometimes are getting (beat), it's closing in, you need to do something, whether it's throw it away, get rid of it. I don't mind an interception by young guys.
"I want to see you do something. Your brain has to go, 'Something has to happen now.' You can feel this."
Romo thought the instances when Allen created problems for himself were when his receivers failed to get open.
"He couldn't quite find the open guy and it's throw it away, it's do something there," Romo said. "So that would be something I'd want to see him continue to be: reactionary. Feel it and go, regardless. You don't want to throw interceptions, but we want to see a young guy let it go. You want to see him at least trust his instincts and gut a little bit.
"You're going to go through the growing pains and get better, and he has a ceiling. Potential's high with the natural stuff. Now, I want to see the brain work quick."
Romo said it was poor pass protection that made it difficult to determine what sort of NFL passer Allen would become based on watching video of games he played while at Wyoming. Romo found a similar challenge in his pre-draft study of former USC standout Sam Darnold, who the New York Jets made the third overall pick.
"Their offensive lines didn't afford them the opportunity to be evaluated the same way that (former UCLA QB Josh) Rosen and (former Oklahoma QB) Baker Mayfield were," Romo said. Rosen was chosen 10th overall by Arizona, while Cleveland made Mayfield the top overall pick.
"To me, Josh was the most difficult, when I watched the tape, to really assess the potential at the National Football League level," Romo said. "As far as the pure throwing, athletically looking, just throwing a football, it's beautiful. The scary part for me was just, I want to see him process it sometimes a hair faster."