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The Freeing Up Of T.O.

you noticed, there were several plays Owens lined up in the backfield with Marion Barber, especially on third down, and it was the 6-foot-3 receiver motioning into the pass pattern and usually to the side Witten was on lined up in the slot. 

"So if they were going to double both of us, that would be four defenders in a five-yard box, and we knew they weren't going to be able to do that," Witten said. 

Most notably was the fourth-and-3 play from the Chicago 39. The Cowboys went to a two-tight end set, with Fasano wide right, Witten tight in the slot, Patrick Crayton wide left and Owens lined up to the right of Barber in the backfield. Owens then motioned toward the line of scrimmage and to his right, just outside Witten, and you could see the Bears were scrambling to shift their defense. 

"See, they want to double him," Witten said in that situation, "but they don't know what side he's going to." 

The thinking on the play was this: If the Bears played off Witten, the ball was going to him on a quick slant. If the Bears jumped Witten, then the ball was going to Owens. 

Well, the Bears ended up doubling Witten, picking him up right off the line of scrimmage with the safety and Brian Urlacher bracketing him as he ran a drag route across the middle. Owens ran an intermediate route down the hash, then inside, and even though he drew three guys in coverage, they couldn't get underneath him quick enough to prevent the 12-yard gain and first down at the Chicago 27. 

Now let's not take credit away from Owens. He's a highly-talented wide receiver, with a good feel for finding the open spot. But Garrett is really doing a nice job of figuring out how to prevent defenses from simply taking him out of the play. He's doing a masterful job of not only disguising Glenn's absence, but minimizing it, too. 

Then there is Romo. High-five him for his patience, waiting for Owens to come open on those crossing routes. And give a fist-bump to that offensive line for giving Romo the necessary time to be patient. 

"Like I said, what a difference a year makes," Owens said, knowing last year was anything but smooth. "Obviously, just going into training camp and me feeling good about the season and being healthy and knowing that I'm going to have the opportunity to make some plays, that makes a world of difference. 

"The coaching staff is doing a great job in letting me know that I'm going to be part of this team and part of this offense. They're moving me around, and it's creating a lot of opportunities, not only for myself but for a lot of other guys as well." 

Most of all, this offense is scoring points, the impetus for at least two of the Cowboys' three victories. 

And doesn't this just leave you drooling over the possibilities once Glenn returns; once the Cowboys have a legitimate deep threat on the other side? 

"Oh man, it will be better," Owens said. "You add what we have now, that's just an extra ingredient to this offense. It makes it sweeter." 

Makes it the way it was supposed to be in the first place. 

Sweetness, you bet.   

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