Saturday, December 28, 2013
Receivers make adjustments to Kyle Orton
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has thrown a franchise-record 208 touchdowns in his career with 34 of them going to wide receiver Dez Bryant.
Terrell Owens and Bryant are tied for the most touchdown catches from Romo. Owens is retired and won't get another chance to increase those totals.
Bryant won't either, at least this year, with Romo out for the season due to back surgery.
So Bryant will now adjust to backup quarterback Kyle Orton, who moves into the No. 1 spot for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
There is some subtle changes between Orton and Romo.
While both are dropback passers, Romo has more mobility and will take risks because of his ability to escape pressure. Orton isn't as mobile, so expect him to throw more passes away instead of keeping plays alive with his movement.
"Kyle is a smart guy," Bryant said. "Kyle knows the offense just as well as Tony knows the offense. Everybody is going to rally behind Kyle. Kyle is one of the leaders in this locker room and he does a great job talking to us. Kyle been doing that even when he was the backup, he will tell us, 'You would be better if you do it this way, this way, this way.' We all listen to him, we have a great feel, every last one of us has a great feel for Kyle and Kyle is going to go in and do his job."
Orton has been working with the second-team offense in practices this season while Romo took the reps with the first team. With Romo out this week, trying to get treatment for his back injury, Orton took over the first-team snaps while Jon Kitna worked with the second team.
"Kyle has looked really good," tight end Jason Witten said. "He's played really well and prepared and on the same page. He's got a great rapport with the guys and even when he wasn't out there, that's what makes him great."
The Cowboys have stressed there shouldn't be a change with the game plan with Orton as the starter. It's too late in the season to change everything up given this is Week 17 and outside of losing Romo, the offense basically has the same personnel as its had most of the season.
"It’s the same offense," receiver Cole Beasley said. "Just plugging that guy in for another one."