One of my favorite activity books as a child was the Where’s Waldo series. For those not familiar with the series, it was a picture book with a bunch of chaotic scenes, and within each different scene there was a hidden figure, Waldo, that you had to spot within all the wackiness. The Cowboys have their own version called Where’s Witten, referring to the Cowboys tight end. Until last week against Chicago, Witten had been basically non-existent in the 2012 season. Witten has been a perennial Pro Bowler, and it had been odd to see him putting up such pedestrian numbers in the early part of this season. If the Cowboys want to turn their season around, they better use their bye this week to figure out how to get Witten involved in the offense for the big plays Cowboys fans are accustomed to seeing.
The only bright spot in the debacle on Monday night was the play of Jason Witten. He had 13 receptions for 112 yards and one touchdown, his first and only touchdown this season. Up until that point Witten had been acting like he was held in witness protection. The week prior to Monday night, against Tampa Bay, he had just two catches for a grand total of eight yards, not even enough to equal a first down. Against Seattle he was a little better, but not much. He had four catches for 58 yards. In the season opener against the New York Giants, Witten had two catches for ten yards. As you can see, the stats show Witten was hidden in the offensive attack for the Cowboys. In Witten’s defense, he did miss all of the preseason with a severe injury to his spleen. That may account for his slow start, and hopefully Monday night was the start of his season, because the Cowboys need him to be a playmaker in their offense.
The Cowboys enter their bye week trying to pick themselves off the mat, after getting whacked by the Chicago Bears Monday night. The Cowboys were like Mike Tyson and the Bears were like Buster Douglas, hammering them with blows, leading to a lopsided knockout. The loss brought the Cowboys record to an even 2 – 2. The Cowboys have two weeks to let the feelings from Monday night sink in and fix the problems on offense. They will need to fix things quickly, because waiting for them after the bye week is the ball hawk defense of the Baltimore Ravens. In order to beat Baltimore, the Cowboys will have to get big plays early and often from their All-Pro tight end Jason Witten.