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August 15, 2013

Tony Romo remains confident in the team's red-zone offense despite their struggles vs. Raiders

Never mind that the Cowboys' first-team offense couldn't find the end zone against the Raiders last week despite two red-zone chances in two possessions. Quarterback Tony Romo says you ain't seen nothing yet.

Romo said he is excited about the team's red-zone offense and expects it to be better than last season when the Cowboys ranked 20th in red-zone efficiency.

"You’ll see hopefully once we open it up, and we get to that point," Romo said. "We’re not going to do that [in the preseason]. There’s no reason for us to now. Obviously, we want to score a lot of touchdowns in the preseason, get in there. We want to do it the right way, though, as well."

The Cowboys didn't score a touchdown and managed only one field goal in the first-teamers' two series against the Raiders.

On the Cowboys' first possession, they took over at the Oakland 16-yard line following a fumble recovery by Jason Hatcher. A holding penalty on Jason Witten on the first play set back the Cowboys, and they ended up settling for a 38-yard Dan Bailey field on the four-play, minus-4-yard drive. Dallas drove 75 yards to the Oakland 8 on its second series, but a false start on Ron Leary but them in a long-yardage situation on third down. DeMarco Murray stepped out at the 8 after an 11-yard gain on third-and-12, and Bailey's 26-yard field-goal attempt was blocked.

"You’re always trying to make every part of your offense and defense better, so we keep looking at it," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "The biggest thing for us is simply execution down there. The other night in the game, we had a couple of penalties before the snap; we had a penalty after the snap that put us in a bad down and distance situation, and when you do that, it’s hard to be effective, and that was one of the issues we had last year. You’re always trying to upgrade, always trying to see if you can use players differently or schemes that can help you, all of that stuff. We’ll continue to do that, but we just have to execute better, do the simple, basic things that good football teams do, and we’ll have a chance to be better down there."

In 49 opportunities inside the opponents' 20-yard line last season, Dallas scored 25 touchdowns and 19 field goals.

-- Charean Williams

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