New York Giants: How Jason Witten's Injury Might Actually Hurt Giants
Bennett has taken exception to that fact, has declared his hatred of Dallas and has gone out of his way to ingratiate himself with his new quarterback and his new team.
Now, Jason Witten will miss the remainder of the preseason and possibly the opener with an abdominal injury. Prior to that, second tight end John Phillips was sidelined with an ankle problem. The Cowboys are now down to rookies James Hanna and Andrew Szczerba.
If Witten does miss the opener against the Giants, Romo could be without a reliable target. Miles Austin is sidelined with yet another hamstring injury and Dez Bryant could be facing a suspension for his domestic violence charge which authorities have yet to drop.
Even if Bryant isn't suspended, he has yet to prove he can be reliable for a full four quarters of NFL football. That leaves a handful of receivers that are competing for the third receiver spot and the rookie tight ends.
Not exactly a vast arsenal of explosive weapons.
So there you have the "glass is half empty" assessment of the Cowboys offense.
But there is another potential outcome from Dallas' injury woes.
With Witten on the sidelines, rookie James Hanna will get far more reps in practice. He is 6'4", 252 lbs and he runs a sub 4.5 40. He could be a dangerous weapon and reports from Oxnard are that he is progressing well. The more Romo throws to him in practice, the more comfort he will have with him during games.
Andre Holmes is another young player who will benefit from the thinning of the receiving corp. With Witten and Austin on the sidelines, Holmes will continue to see plenty of reps. He was the leading receiver in the Cowboys' first preseason game and showed that he will use his size and physicality to fight for balls.
At 6'5" and 220 lbs, Holmes is almost a tight end/wide receiver hybrid. He's one of many reasons Dallas has no interest in Plaxico Burress.
The next thing to consider is that Austin isn't expected to be out much longer. As long as his hamstrings behave upon his return, he will be starting on Sept. 5.
Further, John Phillips will likely be back before the opener. He's a veteran tight end that Romo has some comfort with.
From this perspective, Witten's injury could actually be bad for the Giants. It could hasten the development of new weapons and force Romo out of his comfort zone with Witten, pushing him to get the ball to more dangerous receivers.
Even if Witten comes back in time for the opener, Dallas may have learned to rely more on younger, faster players during his absence. Meaning that upon his return, Romo will have both the comfort of Witten and confidence with his more explosive weapons. That could be devastating for New York's unsung secondary.
Of course, there is nothing about Witten's injury or the numerous injuries to the center position that can be spun into a positive for their offensive line. In that area, the Cowboys really are in trouble.
If they don't get that part straightened out, Romo won't have a chance. And September 5 is coming fast.
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