TE Witten makes Dallas offense go Alex Marvez / FOXSports.com The spotlight is on two No. 81s Ã¢â‚¬â€ Terrell Owens and Randy Moss Ã¢â‚¬â€ entering Sunday's Dallas-New England game. But it's No. 82 that makes the NFL's top-ranked offense click. Tight end Jason Witten leads Dallas in three receiving categories: Catches (29), yards (407) and touchdowns (four). By comparison, Owens has 21 grabs for 387 yards and three scores. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo also has tried connecting with Witten on 45 passes compared to Owens' 47. That is telling, as no NFL player was thrown more passes in 2006 than Owens. After reaching the past three Pro Bowls, Witten isn't a secret to opposing defenses. But under new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, the Cowboys (5-0) are capitalizing on the attention given Owens by targeting Witten more frequently. Witten has 15 catches in the past two games; Owens has five. "When you double-team T.O., it gives (Witten) a lot of chances to isolate inside," said Dolphins safety Renaldo Hill, whose team played Dallas in Week Two. "He's real good at finding open spots in zones. He's fast and sure-handed. If Romo puts the ball somewhere in the area, he's probably going to come up with it." Having a close friendship with Romo doesn't hurt either. The high trust level between the two triggers memories of the quarterback-tight end bond between former Cowboys Troy Aikman and Jay Novacek. "He's a great security blanket," Romo told Patriots media earlier this week. "He's always a guy you can rely on to win a lot of matchups one-on-one. I'll look for stuff and sometimes come back (to him) because I know where he'll be." So will New England, which gives Witten his biggest individual challenge of the season. San Diego's Antonio Gates is the only tight end to have more than four receptions against the Patriots (5-0). "They really try to re-route you before you get going," Witten said Friday. "For the most part, they do a good job with the tight end because their linebackers can cover pretty well." Gates (40) is the NFL's only tight end with more catches than Witten. But Witten is considered the better all-around player. "Jason gives you some things that Gates couldn't do and vice-versa," said Cowboys coach Wade Phillips, a Chargers assistant the previous three seasons. "We utilize him blocking outside backers, defensive ends and those types of things. Gates was utilized more as a wide receiver at tight end. But they're similar because they're both really talented." The 6-foot-5, 266-pound Witten credits former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells for not allowing him to become one-dimensional. "The only way I was going to play as a rookie was to block," said Witten, a 2003 third-round draft choice. "It didn't matter how talented I was in the receiving game. His standard was really high for what he wanted and I appreciate him for that. I've been able to feed off that and be a better player because of it. "I take pride in being a complete tight end and not just a pass-receiving tight end. That's where I try to separate myself from the other guys. It's a mentality." Witten's work ethic has earned his teammates' respect. He was voted a team captain this season despite being only 25 years old. Cowboys backup quarterback Brad Johnson said Witten's passion for football translates to the field. "He talks about it all the time," said Johnson, a 16-year NFL veteran. "He understands protections and the passing game. He's a tremendous blocker. He works hard in practice. He's the best tight end I've played with." And Witten believes he can get better. "I think there's a lot of upside," he said. "To be this experienced at a young age, I've been very fortunate. I just continue to work and stay humble. This is exciting for me now just because of this team. We're off to such a great start and I'm proud to be a leader."