more than once.
Romo hit Roy once, and might have been twice if not for the interference. Romo handed the ball three times to Marion Barber. He handed the ball once to Felix Jones and threw it to him another time. He handed the ball once to Patrick Crayton on an end-around. He threw the ball once to Martellus Bennett. And he concluded the snappy four-minute, 49-second drive with an ad-libbed eight-yard touchdown pass to Witten.
"That's the blueprint for this season," said one assistant coach afterward.
That's exactly what I'm talking about. While the Cowboys might not have a dominating offensive player, they have more weapons than you can shake a stick at, and they are now unencumbered to use them all at their discretion without having to worry about some verbal repercussion.
Just count them. You got two running backs now needing the ball in their hands, Barber and Jones, plus a third who can carry his own weight in Tashard Choice. They have a bevy of receivers capable of contributing in different ways, from Williams to Crayton to the emerging Sam Hurd and Miles Austin.
And as I pointed out at the start of camp, you will fall in love with the two-tight end sets formed by Witten and Bennett, their dual ability to not only block like tight ends but run the field like power forwards.
Jason Garrett, your call.
Maybe this is one of the reasons Cowboys owner Jerry Jones chose to say the other day, "If we stay healthy, we can have the kind of team we expected to have last year," not wringing his hands over that No. 1 receiver thing.
Now Romo tried to downplay that one drive's versatility in Oakland, but partially I suspect to not rile up WHN out in Buffalo.
"I don't think that means anything," Romo said. "It's just about what the defense allows us to do on each specific play. Each play, it's like a roulette wheel. Each spin is different."
Exactly, and the Cowboys can now react accordingly instead of worrying about how many catches one guy gets or how many runs another guy gets or how many passes were intended for that guy.
Meaning if Hurd happens to have the hot hand in one game, just feed him without worrying about one of the other many offensive weapons moaning and groaning afterward, making it hard on the quarterback when he's next in the pocket. Hey, the quarterback has enough alligators snapping at his behind without consciously trying to appease one guy.
"They couldn't stop it, just put it down their throats," Williams said of the drive's socialized approach, everybody getting something. "And to think that was just our base offense. Just did what you're coached to do."
And this part, not sure about you, but I particularly liked hearing from Roy, who returned to practice Monday after the sore wrist he incurred during Sunday morning's practice caused him to miss the afternoon session while seeking out an X-ray (negative) and MRI. In fact, given the choice of rehabbing with associate trainer Britt Brown, running with the chords attached, and practicing, Roy quickly said he'd practice.
So when asked about so many different guys capable of touching the ball, he said, "But remember, it's important to run the football, too. We got to run the football, and that might sound funny coming from a wide receiver."
Funny? Maybe hilariously unprecedented.
What a novel approach. Run the ball as needed. Throw the ball to the open guy. Play as many tight ends as you please. Approach offense as you see fit, or as Romo said, "We're not going to be a reactive offensive but a pro-active offense," with no regard to who's No. 1.
Because if you think about it, when the Cowboys were blazing through the '90s, Irvin got his, Emmitt got his, Novacek got his, D.J. got his and even Alvin Harper got enough to parlay his four seasons into a hefty free-agent signing bonus with Tampa Bay.
And speaking of funny, just before Romo left the Oakland Coliseum locker room, he found it necessary to parry another question, concerned an honest answer would have ranged far too close to WHN, something about spreading the ball around