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Confidence Builder? Romo and Austin Get In Sync, Win the Game

Last week the Cowboys had Denver in position for an early kill.  Dallas had recovered a Broncos fumble and faced a third and eleven at the Denver 17. 

Jason Garrett put his offense in a three wide out, one back set, with Roy Williams wide left, Patrick Crayton in the left slot, Jason Witten strong right and Miles Austin wide right outside the tight end.  At the snap, Austin ran his pattern fifteen yards upfield, cut at the Denver three and broke back towards the football.  It was unclear what should have happened on the throw.  Should Austin have broken his pattern to the sideline?  Did Romo badly misfire on the timing route? 

The result was painfully obvious: Romo's throw sailed wide of Austin and was intercepted by Champ Bailey on the Denver three.  The Broncos survived the Dallas threat and won the game in the final two minutes.

Today, I think I may have a clearer sense of the play's intent, because Dallas ran it on their final, game-winning play.  Facing a 2nd-and-15 on their initial series of overtime, Garrett gave his guys another chance to get the play right.  He put Dallas in a three wideout set.  He again put his tight end Witten on the right side of the formation.  He again flanked his back to Romo's left in the shotgun and he again put Austin wide right.

This time, Austin broke his route at eleven yards and this time he was properly in line to snag Romo's quick toss.  Austin shook free of the Chiefs corner with a shrug of his shoulders and won a sprint up the right sideline.  Austin's play capped a 250 yard, two touchdown day and let the shaky Cowboys enter the bye at 3-2.

Nobody knows if this will serve as a pick me up for Austin, Romo or the rest of the team, but it is pleasing to see them put into the same situation in another pressure situation and to see them execute with such explosiveness the second time around.