IRVING, Texas - The initials of the most consistent offensive weapon for the Dallas Cowboys this season aren't T.O.
Tight end Jason Witten has become a go-to guy for quarterback Tony Romo. The 6-foot-5, 266-pounder is a deep threat, safety valve and heavy-duty blocker, a combination that has resulted in a team-high 80 receptions, 955 yards and seven touchdowns.
Against Detroit last Sunday, Witten set career highs with 15 catches for 138 yards. His seven touchdown catches this season is a career best, and he is close in receptions and yardage.
"He has the ability to stretch the field, go down the field against his guy," Romo said. "He can run underneath stuff, he can hook up, he can do a lot of different things. He's been the best thing that happened to me, just because you can always see what's going on with him, every single time.".
Just as important, Romo said, is the chemistry between Witten and the quarterback, who came to the Cowboys together as rookies in 2003.
"He wants to get better, and he's smart," Romo said. "You really want a guy who thinks the same way you do. He sees and feels the same things. He's always trying to get better, even though he already might be the best. We're just lucky to have him. I know I am."
With probable Pro Bowlers Witten and Terrell Owens at tight end and wide receiver, Romo has plenty of options.
"It's just a matter of what the defense is going to want to do that's going to allow someone to be open," Romo said. "They can do that because they almost always win their one-on-one matchups. It's very difficult to guard them, and you can't double-team everybody."
Owens, who has 1,270 yards on 74 catches, said Witten has benefited from the attention defenses give him.
"The success that Witten has had, I'm sure he'll tell you that most of that is because they're double-teaming and triple-teaming me," Owens said. "The things he does and I do, we benefit from it. That's why we call ourselves 'White Chocolate.' ''
Wide receiver Terry Glenn, who has missed the entire season with cartilage damage in his right knee, took part in practice yesterday for the first time since September, and only the second time this season.
There is a chance he could play against the Eagles, though the Cowboys are not counting on it.
"I'm pretty sure he probably won't be back this week, from what I gather," Romo said. "He's going to be running around out there today to see how it feels. We'll see when the time comes. I'm trying not to get excited about it.
"He works really hard and he's very passionate. I don't think he'll go out there unless he can go. He's not a guy who can kind of halfway it. He goes all the way, always. Terry's a phenomenal talent. Anything he does, if it's even 80 percent of what he was before, he's going to give you something really good."
Glenn tried to practice in September but reinjured the knee and underwent surgery for the second time in 6 weeks on Sept. 14; he had not practiced since.
Glenn would provide another deep threat to a Dallas offense that ranks second in the NFL in yards and points. Romo said he isn't worried about upsetting the team's chemistry with the addition of another playmaker.
"Negative to Terry Glenn coming back? I don't see it," Romo said. "Honestly, I don't see how that could hurt us in any possible way . . . He's another guy I don't see how you can play man-to-man coverage against. I like our offense a lot right now, and with him coming back, I think we add another dimension that helps us be even more explosive." *