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Mailbag: Why Isn't Witten Targeted More In The Red Zone?


With our well-documented red zone troubles, I'm still surprised year after year that Witten doesn't get more targets. Are defenses always taking him away in the red zone, or do you think it's more on the play calling?

Nick: This very question got asked – three different ways – to Jason Garrett on Friday morning in the press conference and his answer every time was rather vanilla. Garrett called Witten a "marked man" when the offense gets in the red zone, but said the lack of space certainly plays a factor to him getting open. If you look last week, James Hanna nearly got a touchdown catch and John Phillips did catch one. You'd like to think Witten can be effective at any spot on the field but history suggests the Cowboys can't seem to get him touches down there, relative to the amount he gets in the middle of the field.

Rowan: It's a good point. With the recurring red zone woes, going to Witten more would seem like a viable option. At this point, they're trying to do anything they can to reach the end zone, which makes it even stranger he hasn't gotten more targets. It seems this year they'd like to get Dez Bryant involved in that area of the field to take advantage of his leaping ability, but with how easy it is to get Witten the ball across the field, it's surprising he doesn't get more looks inside the 20.


We saw this team plagued by injuries in the preseason and now again in the regular season. Isn't it time to give some healthy players like Cole Beasley a chance to play and contribute?

Nick: Yes, it looks like it's time for that, whether there are a lot of injuries or not. I think we've seen enough from Ogletree lately to warrant Beasley some playing time in the slot.

Rowan: Beasley, Harris, Dunbar, all of these guys deserve a shot at this point at their respective positions to make up for production and injuries. Harris was limited this week at practice, but no more so than Ogletree or Bryant, and if Felix Jones is playing hurt, a guy like Dunbar might be better suited to handle more responsibility.

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