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Mailbag: How Are We On Offense With Jason Witten On The Shelf?


Tell me how good are we on offense with Jason Witten is on the shelf?

Rowan: It'll hurt. Witten's been a key component in the offseason this year, just as he has his previous nine seasons, and made the loss of Laurent Robinson less costly. The tight end success the next few weeks will depend on James Hanna's progressions and John Phillips' health.

Nick: I can't remember that 2003 game against the Eagles when he missed. That's the only time it's happened. Not trying to be funny but that's just a fact, we really haven't seen the offense without him. If they have to play a regular season game without him, John Phillips will try his best to handle it. James Hanna steps up, too. But I think the team will struggle in the blocking game, especially when they're trying to run in short-yardage.


Who is Ben Bass and why does it seem like he came literally out of nowhere with his play Monday? I don't recall hearing about him previously. Does his play jeopardize anyone's roster spot, and how many defensive ends will the Cowboys keep?

Rowan: He's an unsigned rookie from Texas A&M with speed at defensive tackle, which he used for a sack and five combined tackles against the Raiders. He's been a factor at training camp at a position the Cowboys could go deep in. All 10 defensive linemen are in the mix to stay through final cuts.

Nick: I think it's hard for defensive ends to make a lot of noise in practice. Not until the games start do we really see these guys stand out and Bass certainly did that. He really was everywhere in the second half. If he replaces anyone, it could be someone like Clifton Geathers or maybe he's good enough for the Cowboys to let go of both Spears and Coleman. But if he plays like that in the preseason he'll stick around in some capacity.

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