( Tony Romo looks to lead a potent offense coming off the bye. Image via cdn.bleacherreport.net )
Continuity: A continuous or connected whole.
Four games into the season, continuity is one thing lacking with the Cowboys offense mainly due to injury. But continuity isn't the reason for the 2-2 start, in fact the lack thereof may actually benefit the team as the season progresses.
Since the season has started we have seen both starting WRs miss games, the backup TE miss a game, the starting qb fracture his ribs, the starting running back dislocate his shoulder, and the projected offensive line have never started consecutive games.
This actually stems back to last season. Where Dez Bryant missed the last part of the season and of course Romo. And also an entire different offensive line. This only means NO ONE not even our fans have seen THIS offense at full strength for consecutive weeks. Meaning it is extremely difficult for opponents to honestly watch film and be able to diagnose that side of the ball. Add the fact that the talent at the skill positions can out man your scheme anyway, this offense will cause nightmares baring injury. Let's take a look.
(Robinson has instantly upgraded an already talented WR corps, via www.mysanantonio.com)
After the bye we will finally see a healthy set of weapons with a pleasant addition.
MILES AUSTIN: If you take a look at the stat sheet you'll see a line by Austin that many would take after 4 games. But with 14 rec 233 yds 16.6 avg 4 TDs and 11 1stDowns its just a normal 2 game stretch for Miles. Returning at full strength is a huge bonus and with healthy complimentary weapons its going to be even harder to defend him.
DEZ BRYANT: I applaud Dez for playing through a nagging thigh bruise. Its been very difficult to watch knowing the potential he has that hasn't been near tapped. Missing 1 game and playing at about 70-80% in the others his line is ok, but his play making ability and impact has been greater. 10 rec 171 yds 17.1 avg 3 TDs 9 1stDowns. Again returning healthy with the addition of Miles on the other side its almost pick your poison. Doubling Miles leaves Dez 1 on 1 and that is a nightmare for any cornerback. Doubling Dez is asking to get beat by Miles, oh and there is that 82 guy down the middle.
LAURENT ROBINSON: Maybe the biggest addition to the offense was actually signed, cut and then signed again. I don't think anyone saw this coming. He has in 2 games solidified the #3 slot position with his play in only 2 games. Robinson's play in 2 games far and beyond out does the former #3 WR Ogletree. 10 rec 165 yds 16.5 avg 9 1stDowns. With the trust Robinson is earning Garret & Romo may target him more than normal in a slot WR role for this offense. Possibly moving Robinson outside and Miles inside on certain sets making it even more difficult to guard Miles with his precise route running coming from the slot. Robinson has show the ability to beat coverages and get the all important YAC.
JASON WITTEN: Witten has been, well Witten. His line is on pace for yet another pro bowl season and has been the glue holding a beat up offensive unit through 4 weeks. 22 rec 336yds 13 avg 1TD 17 1stDowns. He may benefit the most from a healthy Dez and Miles as teams will have to honor their deep threat ability.
FELIX JONES: I look for Felix to be worked more coming off of the bye. Not only due to the fact of the meltdowns going hand in hand with NOT running the ball, but I also look for Felix to be used more in the passing game to protect Romo from himself with the lead. He is averaging 7.2 yds a catch with 6 1stDowns catching out of the backfield. I have been surprised he hasn't been used more as we have seen him take a few to the house.
But his primary role to is rush. What seems to be ignored is the fact that Felix is actually running the ball well. The running game did struggle to start the season but why be surprised at that. The first couple of games were against 2 of the best rush defenses in the league, and behind a brand new offensive line. With all that said this team has rushed for back to back 100+ yard games going into the bye with Felix playing solid. 56 att 241 yds 4.3 avg 1 TD.
The lack of a better line is partially due to Garret. While i don't expect Jones to carry the ball 20 times a game due to JG philosophy I do expect him to garner more touches per game. Jones is only getting 14 carries a game and 3 receptions totaling a measly 17 touches per, that is unacceptable. Until there is more trust with Demarco Murray (another discussion for another day) the back up RBs should only be spelling Felix for a breather. His big play ability keeps defenses on their heels as he is able to take it to the house from any where.
THERE IS A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
These compliment of weapons will be at Romo and Garrets disposal for the first time all season. There isn't much if any tape of these guys together healthy making it harder to game plan against them. And while it takes an offensive line to make this all work, the line hasn't been a liability. It hasn't been great but it has been very serviceable only allowing 7 sacks through 4 games, 4 of which came in the 1st week of the season. That is a pace for 28 through 16 weeks and would be a career low for Romo.
One can only salivate over the potential this offense has barring injury for the rest of the season. While the Cowboys know what they have and what they can and will do, its a total mystery to the rest of the league. That isn't necessarily a bad thing.