Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots Preview: Offense

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4.  Can Laurent Robinson continue to make Jerry’s decision to sign him look like a work of genius?

I am always amused when fans berate Jerry for mistakes like Roy Williams, but then lack the sense of fairness to acknowledge when he makes a shrewd acquisition like Robinson.  Granted, the Roy Williams trade was a mistake of gargantuan proportions, but Robinson looks like he will go a long way in making up for that blunder.

Can he prove that last week was no fluke?

Robinson will have plenty of chances to make plays this Sunday.  With both Miles Austin and Dez Bryant healthy, you would expect one or both of them to draw double coverage.  If you then factor in how important it is stop Jason Witten, Robinson should have favorable match-ups all day long.  Assuming that his impressive performance against the Lions was not a fluke, he could be poised to have a monster game.

I will be watching to see where Robinson is lined up: will he man the slot or line up out wide?  What kind of routes will he run: will it be mostly quick outs, slants, and over the middle stuff, or will he get the chance to try to stretch the field.  How often will he get targeted by Romo?

I will also be watching with keen interest to see who the 4th wide receiver is.  Will it be Ogletree, Holley, or the rookie Dwayne Harris?

If Ogletree gets bumped down on the depth chart by either Holley or Harris, he could very well become expendable: Holley is an effective special teams player, and Harris is a rookie who will presumably be given a year or two to develop.  Another fact that suggests that Ogletree’s days are numbered is that Marty B was often used as a wide-out in the last two games.

5. Can the offense get through this game without starting a new string of injuries?

The list of offensive players who have missed playing time due to injury is quite long for being only 4 games into the season, it includes:  Romo, Austin, Bryant, Dockery, Costa, Nagy, Fiammetta, and Jones.   For a complete list of the number of snaps all of the starters have played so far this season, click here to read an interesting article at BTB.

It seems like the majority of the offensive players, with the exception of Dockery and Fiammetta, are back to full strength.  The mothership reported this week that Austin said he was “100%” and Bryant is back to “full-speed”.

The Cowboys need the offensive starters to stay healthy; I am convinced that Romo is more likely to try to win games by himself when one of his starting wide-outs is missing.

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