Cowboys TEs slow to see action so far

August, 20, 2013
8/20/13
2:00
PM ET
IRVING, Texas – Jason Witten set an NFL record for catches in a season by a tight end last year with 110. Through two preseason games, Witten is still looking for his first catch.

“Don’t want to hurt the spleen, you know?” Witten joked, referring to the shot he took last year in the preseason.

With so much discussion about the Cowboys using the two-tight end personnel grouping more in 2013, the tight ends have only nine catches in three preseason games. Gavin Escobar leads with six, and five came last week against Arizona. Dante Rosario has two and Colin Cochart has one. Like Witten, James Hanna is without a catch.

The Cowboys have not used the “12 personnel” package much with the regulars. Of the 16 snaps by directed by Tony Romo against the Cardinals, 10 came with “11 personnel” or three wide receivers.

Witten said the Cowboys are not hiding what they’ve worked on in preseason games, saying that is just how the games have worked out.

“I think there are some things you are trying to protect, protections and plays you probably get away from or you don’t want to show, but for the most part, I think we just kind of run it,” Witten said. “I think they know we’re going to run the little 10-yard option route and the different things that we do. But I think there’s time and place.

"Even more so, things we say, ‘Hey, we want to work on this in the preseason and see how this holds up.’ There are things that I’m sure you probably don’t want to show, but for the most part, everything is in for us.”

The Cowboys’ starters will play more Saturday against the Bengals.

Witten, by the way, isn’t worried about getting the ball when the games matter.

“You work on it in practice doing that stuff, and this is the same system even though it’s a different playcaller, I’m sure that will all work out,” Witten said. “Look forward to playing a little bit more to see what happens this weekend.”

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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