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Receivers, Romo not on same page

IRVING, Texas -- Just four weeks into the season, it appears there's a trust issue between Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and his wide receivers.

Everyone is saying the right things, or not -- depending on whom you speak with.

Romo didn't talk Wednesday, but he didn't need to. His actions on the field in Sunday's 17-10 loss to Denver did the talking for him.

Romo's third-quarter interception possibly was caused when receiver Miles Austin ran a wrong route, enabling Denver cornerback Champ Bailey to pick off the pass.

On the last two plays of that game, Austin was open on the back side, but Romo was targeting Sam Hurd.

In the NFC, nine tight ends, including the Cowboys' Jason Witten, and eight running backs, including Tashard Choice, have more catches than the Cowboys' top receiver. Roy Williams has 11 catches for 214 yards and one touchdown. Patrick Crayton, the No. 2 wideout, has 11 catches for 199 yards and one touchdown.

Frustration is starting to show.

"Let's just run the plays we run in practice. All of them," Crayton said. "If we're going to run them in practice, let's call them in the game."

Crayton and Williams, on pace to catch about 40 passes this season, are surprised at how low their receiving numbers are. Crayton said the team should go toward its strength: running the football.

"That's the way it goes, man," Williams said of his 11 receptions. "It's just like the stock [market]. It's a bad first quarter. Maybe the second quarter will be good."

Witten ranks third in the NFC with 23 receptions. But after averaging 14.2 yards a catch in the season opener, the tight end hasn't averaged more than 9 yards per catch the past three weeks.

Backup quarterback Jon Kitna understands the wide receivers' frustration, because they want the ball almost every play.

Kitna said that in 2006, his first year in Detroit, it took him two preseason games to build trust with Williams. Kitna said he had no choice in the matter, because then-offensive coordinator Mike Martz forced him to do something.

"Mike Martz demanded we throw to the wide receivers," Kitna said. "That's the job of the wide receiver, to win the route. It took all of the guesswork out of it for me. I think [the Cowboys' receivers] have trust. They're working out the kinks. It's a process."

It's a situation that has to clear itself quickly, or things could get ugly.

"It's just frustrating," Crayton said. "Just frustrating."

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com.