As consistent a pass-catcher as the Cowboys have ever had, Jason Witten's production is on pace to balance out for the year.
Leading the Cowboys with 64 catches and 772 receiving yards, the tight end has three games left to try to top 80 catches for a fifth straight season, and to get over 1,000 yards for the fourth time in the last five years.
But if it's going to happen, he's got to get going soon, and teams of late have done an excellent job of limiting Witten's impact. He had only 12 yards on three catches against New York on Sunday, a season low. In the previous two games combined he had 90 yards on nine catches.
"Like a lot of featured receivers around the league, Witten gets a lot of attention," coach Jason Garrett said. "He gets a lot of attention from linebackers and safeties, and sometimes they put nickel guys on him. When we break the huddle, people know where 82 is going. So we have to keep giving him some different opportunities and give him some chances to still kind of defeat those double-coverages without all that attention the defense is giving him."
Witten's last big outing by tight end standards was at Washington, when he scored the longest touchdown of his career, 59 yards, on a broken play, part of his three-catch, 85-yard day.
With the three biggest games of the year around the corner, Garrett is expecting his tight end to come around soon.
"He's a seven-time Pro-Bowler," Garrett said. "He's been getting this (attention from defenses) for a long time, and week in and week out, somehow, some way he seems to make some plays, and year in and year out he seems to be as productive as ever."