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Friday, October 11, 2013
Look for more 'empty' looks from Dallas

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas -- Was how the Dallas Cowboys attacked offensively last Sunday specifically for the Denver Broncos or part of the evolution of the offense?

“A little of both,” quarterback Tony Romo said.

If there was a big difference in the passing game it was the use of the empty package, featuring either three or four wide receivers and/or one or two tight ends with no running backs on the field.

But can they continue to run their offense that way? Not the franchise-record 506 yards Romo put up, but just the quickness of pace and the spreading of the field. Romo was sacked only once in 15 plays out of an empty look. He missed on only two throws out of that personnel.

“I think whenever you’re successful in anything you tend to want to focus on that a little bit more than anything else,” said wide receiver Dez Bryant, who had a 79-yard catch from the empty look. “I think the mentality I know the receivers have is when we got that opportunity we tried our best to take advantage of it. I think that’s what we’ve been doing and it’s what we’re going to try to continue to do form here on out.”

It puts a challenge on the offensive line because they do not have help, but it gives Romo quick answers.

“The challenges are figuring out who the blitzers are,” right tackle Doug Free said. “You know they always bring an extra one, so you’ve got to be able to ID who the other guy is because you don’t have a back to pick them up. So you slide the line that way and sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong. It’s tricky at times.”

Bu it just might be how the Cowboys have to play considering their unsteady defense.

“Last week was obviously the best we’ve done it all year, the best we’ve ever done it, to be able to take what they’re giving you then making plays with it,” tight end Jason Witten said.