While it is never a good thing to be heading into a game without a player who has proven his worth over the past few seasons in the way that Miles Austin has; not having the veteran wide out should not hamper the Dallas Cowboys offensive attack. The team has provided Romo with too many other options for attacking the San Diego offense.
The team will get the ball to receiver Dez Bryant early and often.
Unless the coaching staff decides it’s best to once again ride running back DeMarco Murray.
The first three weeks of this season have shown the Cowboys don’t have a primary target as much as a moving one. - David Moore, Dallas Morning News
That last thought goes a long way toward summing up the Cowboys 2013 offensive attack; take away one element, or even two, and the team still has other options that they can throw at an opposing defense. Consider for a moment what we have observed during the early season:
- Week one - With Dez Bryant essentially quiet against the Giants, the Cowboys rode on the backs of Jason Witten, who had eight catches and two touchdowns, and Miles Austin, who had a ten catch/72 yard night. Since then Witten has had a total of eight more receptions and has not found the end zone. Over the next two weeks Austin has accounted for a combined five receptions and 53 yards.
- Week two - In the loss to Kansas City, Dez was the workhorse for the Cowboys offense. In that game, he scored a touchdown to go along with his 141 yards receiving on nine catches. By contrast, he had 22 yards against the Giants and 38 yards and a touchdown against St. Louis.
- Week three - Last Sunday, it was DeMarco Murray who shouldered the load against the Rams. Murray rushed for 175 yards on 26 carries during the Cowboys dominating win. This was on the heels of a 25-yard effort the previous week.
According to head coach Jason Garrett, the 2013 offensive strategy for the Cowboys is finding the right guy for the situation, and that will change from week to week.
"I think the thing they have to understand is it might change from week to week,"
"You might get 10 receptions this week. You might get three the next week. You might run it more this week. You might throw it more the next week." - Jason Garrett
Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan concurs with Garrett.
"Coach Garrett wants the offense to be balanced, and he wants to distribute the ball to the playmakers."
"Look for the matchups and take advantage of them when we see them put a premium on the execution of it." - Bill Callahan
Tony Romo added his take on the situation. He stated that the Dallas offense has a mindset that it is not one individual out there on the field, "It's about the team. It's about the unit." Everyone realizes that there will be stretches where he does not get the touches he and his talent deserve, but nobody seems to mind. It all comes back to doing whatever it takes for the team to be successful. The whole concept comes down to a very simple concept: Find the mismatches you can win, and exploit those to the fullest extent.
That is a concept that most teams give lip service to, but one which they are either unwilling or unable to commit to. With the offense the Cowboys now have, Dallas has the resources to make such a commitment; and so far, Garrett and Callahan are showing the resolve to follow through.
I believe wholeheartedly when you have that kind of distribution you present a different agenda to the defense. You give them more things to defend. I think that’s the advantage of being balanced and spreading the ball out and being in different formations, presenting them with different problems." - Bill Callahan
And that, undoubtedly, will be the game plan when the Cowboys take the field against the Chargers.