On Shotgun Snaps, Key For Costa Is Focus

Tony Romo doesn't have a broken rib anymore, and he's proven he can make something happen even if a shotgun snap flies over his head - the play isn't over with him. But still, the Cowboys on Sunday can't afford a repeat of the wild shotgun snaps that plagued center Phil Costa against the Redskins in Week 3.

Costa and former teammate Stephen Bowen have long ago made up, after Costa originally accused the Redskins of simulating the count to confuse the Cowboys line. But gamesmanship of that type has been happening around the league forever, so it would be wrong of Costa and the Cowboys not to anticipate it either this week, or at some point in the future.

Offensive line coach Hudson Houck has offered a simple solution for Costa going forward.

"Don't put it on the ground, basically," Houck said. "Coaching points would be, that we've worked on so, so much with him now, the snap, making sure he's hearing the rigtht snap count, making sure on the silent counts he hears it correctly. It's a matter of mental more than physical. It's just focus. And there were a lot of sounds defensively, coming out from their side, that hurt us."

Houck believes that for the Redskins, having Bowen and running back Tashard Choice on the team is an advantage. The Cowboys have piped stadium sound into practice this week to prepare. This being a road game, it'll often be hard to hear at the line of scrimmage anyway, so the offense will need to operate with hand signals and silent counts more often than at home.

After Arizona's Kevin Kolb was reportedly signaling to his teammates what the Eagles were trying to do offensively on Sunday - Kolb having been traded from Philadelphia this offseason - the Cowboys will be even more mindful to disguise their intentions now that Choice is in Washington, just three weeks since being released.

"I think you always have to be mindful of that when you have a player that goes from your team to another team," Garrett said. "Tashard's certainly a smart guy. We like to think that we do a good job disguising some of our calls. I don't think we undo our offense just because of that transaction. I think we have to deal with it. It certainly is something we have to look at throughout the ball game."

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