Five big things to watch for during the Cowboys-Jets game, Part 1: Offense

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Is Kevin Olgetree the Cowboy's third wideout? Photo/Sharon Ellman)

3.  Given all the hype and anxiety surrounding the lack of depth behind Austin and Bryant, who will be the 3rd receiver when they go to the 3 wideout formation?

Will it be Ogletree or Harris? More importantly, how often does the 3rd wideout get targeted?  My guess is that with two No.1 receivers, Witten, and several RB’s capable of catching passes out of the backfield, the 3rd wideout will not really be that significant.

3b.  How much confidence will Garrett show in the 3rd WR? 

One way to answer this question is simply to track the number of times the 3rd WR is targeted by Romo, but I think the formation they line up in may also be revealing.  If it is 3rd down and more than 6 or 7 yards, and Austin or Bryant lines up in the slot, I will be tempted to assume that the 3rd wideout is being used as a decoy/placeholder, i.e. someone occupying the 1st or 2nd CB so that the slot receiver has the benefit of being mismatched against either the 3rd CB or a safety.  If the 3rd WR lines up in the slot on 3rd and long, that will signal to me that Garrett has some faith in that player because the slot receiver is often the primary target/hot read on 3rd down, especially against a blitzing defense like the Jets.  Whether Romo has faith in that player is an entirely different matter.

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