Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/18/12
During the Dallas Cowboys' preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders, Tony Romo found himself under pressure on several occasions. Romo is truly brilliant improvising after a play breaks down.

In times of trouble, Jason Witten is usually Romo's go-to-guy.

Unfortunately for Witten, he took a hard hit in Oakland. The hit was clean, yet damaging.

Witten left the game with what was later diagnosed as a lacerated spleen, and is out for the rest of the preseason. 

Losing Witten for the remainder of the preseason is certainly bad news. However, there might be a silver-lining, but it is a reach. 

Without Witten in the lineup, Dez Bryant might see more passes come his way. Bryant is performing out of his mind through training camp and preseason, but still needs to fully gain the trust of Romo in crucial situations.  

Bryant did not fare particularly well over last season during the 2nd half of games. The talented receiver managed only two touchdowns all season in the 2nd half, compared to his seven scoring grabs in the 1st half of games. 

Although Romo and company won't be on the field for more than 12 plays against the San Diego Chargers on Saturday night, Bryant is still presented with the opportunity for more targets. 

Young receiver Cole Beasley could get more looks as well. Beasley failed to impress in his first preseason game. Hopefully he can stand out as a receiver against the Chargers, and solidify a spot on the Cowboys' roster behind Austin and Bryant. 

Preseason injuries occur every year, but lacerated spleens aren't usually on the report. There is no good news, but Bryant might be able to earn Romo's trust at a quicker rate without Witten on the field. 

At least the spleen didn't rupture, and despite the injury, it is still good news that Martellus Bennett is gone.


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