It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys plan to run the ball more in 2013. However, experts and fans alike know the success of this team will really come down to Tony Romo and the passing game.
The NFL has rapidly become a pass-first league and with the aerial arsenal of Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, and Terrance Williams, Romo has to be salivating at the numbers he can put up this season.
On Saturday, the Romo-led passing game was basically unstoppable against a very tough Bengals defense. The quarterback was able to get the ‘Boys in the end zone twice with touchdown passes to Bryant and Austin.
Romo finished his two quarters of the game completing 13 of 17 passes for 137 yards. Bryant reeled in 5 balls for 64 yards, and Austin caught 4 passes for 59 yards. Bryant’s TD catch came on a beautifully placed ball on a fade route over Bengals’ Dre Kirkpatrick.
Romo to Bryant touchdown.
Expect to see that in the box score often this season.
Not only did Bryant dominate Kirkpatrick on the fade route, he beat all three Bengal corners on an assortment of different routes.
As for Miles Austin, he definitely looks refreshed and healthy for the upcoming season. Just before his TD catch in the back of the end zone, in which Romo made a classic Romo-esque step up in the pocket, Austin broke away from Leon Hall on a 3rd and 6, displaying finesse and speed that has been absent for two seasons.
A quicker Austin can cause nightmares for opposing defenses, as if Dez Bryant wasn’t already enough.
I know it’s only the preseason, but this Cowboys first-team offense definitely looked like a playoff caliber unit in their first half performance against the Bengals. Reminder: the Bengals are the consensus pick to win the AFC North and have made the playoffs each of the past two seasons.
Romo, Bryant, and Austin played pitch and catch all night on what will surely be a top-10 defensive unit.
If this preseason contest is any indication of what is to come during the regular season, the rest of the league and the NFC East better watch out.