Jason Witten tells teammates it's time for best football

FRISCO, Texas -- Coming off a disheartening 37-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in which the offense did not generate a touchdown, Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said it was time to have a heart-to-heart discussion with his team.

“I just felt like we need to know where we’re at, and it’s good to have communication and with my experiences, to understand that nobody said it was going to be easy. It’s going to be hard,” Witten said. “Certainly, we understand where we’re at and what we have to do. It’s clear. Our focus going into Thursday on a short week is we have to be able to move forward and process what happened on Sunday and stay together. It was a good visit. I think our guys understand what the task is and where we are in the season. We’re 5-5 and you certainly have to play [your] best football this time of year.”

The Cowboys have scored just one touchdown in the past two games without Ezekiel Elliott. They had just two pass plays of 20 yards or longer against the Atlanta Falcons and did not have one on Sunday against Philadelphia, marking the first time that happened in Dak Prescott’s first two seasons as the starting quarterback.

Left tackle Tyron Smith is expected to play on Thursday against the Los Angeles Chargers after missing the past two games with a groin injury. Elliott will miss the next four games before he is eligible to return from his NFL suspension.

“We’ve seen what we’re capable of doing,” Witten said. “This offense, we know we have the right guys. We have the right players, the right coaches, so there’s a lot of confidence that comes from that. You just have to play better, and the opportunities, when we get them, we just have to take advantage of them.”