Cowboys' offense must find itself fast
Scoring up around NFL, but unit needs to play catch-up against generous Bucs D
Romo -- wearing a blue T-shirt that read, "What am I doing?" -- tried to provide them.
"It's going to change throughout the year," Romo said of the identity. "Some weeks you're going to run the ball really well; other weeks you're not. Some weeks you're going to throw it for a real high percentage; other weeks you're not. If you think you go into each game and have the same exact output you had the last game with the same people doing things, [it's] just unrealistic."
NFL teams set records for points scored in the first two weeks of the season with 1,556. In Week 2, teams scored 765 points, the seventh most for a single week in league history.
In two weeks, the Cowboys have scored just 31 points, 29th in the NFL. The passing attack, considered a strong point for coach Jason Garrett, is 11th overall at 364.5 yards per game. The run game, something Garrett needs to improve, is just 21st at 96 yards per game.
If the Cowboys are going to achieve their goals, the offense has to improve, starting Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs' defense is 31st in total defense and last against the pass.
Romo is coming off a loss at Seattle in which some of his main receiving weapons dropped five passes. Three of the drops came courtesy of his favorite target, Jason Witten, and two came from wide receiver Dez Bryant.
Seattle cornerbacks pressured Bryant and Miles Austin at the line of scrimmage, redirecting them from their original routes and forcing Romo to find other targets or wait longer than he would have liked.
Romo expressed no concern with Witten, who leads the NFL with four drops this season.
"[Witten has] been playing a long time," Romo said. "I think he's been so good for us for so long, we're just lucky for him to play at the level he's been. He'll be fine."
In regard to Bryant, who has more drops (two) than touchdowns (none), Romo said the third-year receiver will improve and that he has no worries.
"You're going to see different guys have big games at different times, and I've told you this before," Romo said. "A lot of it is dictated on defensive coverages, what they're doing, and sometimes some games you're going to go [to] different [players]."
A positive for this offense is Romo's success against Tampa Bay. He's 3-0 as a starter against the Bucs with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. But Romo dismisses these numbers because he says each year is different.
At some point, the offense has to establish itself as a force. Sunday would be a good time to get things going. Given the performance in the win over the Giants, the loss at Seattle could be seen as a step back for the offense.
"One of the things that we [emphasize] with our team a lot is, 'Oh, it's one play,'" Garrett said. "But from an offensive standpoint, we talk about [how] you probably have nine or 10 possessions, true possessions in a ballgame, so it's one play out of those nine or 10 possessions that might really negatively impact the possession, and we had a couple of those."