It's no secret that the Dallas Cowboys passing offense has been subpar this season, but the signs may point to them starting to turn it around on Monday Night.
Of course, the Cowboys traded for wide receiver Amari Cooper during the bye week in an attempt to solidify their “WR1” spot moving forward. But they also fired offensive line coach Paul Alexander on Monday in a move they hope will not only help their run game, but also give Dak Prescott more time in the pocket to make plays down the field.
Whether or not these moves will eventually fix the problems that the Cowboys' passing offense has is yet to be seen, but this week's game against the Titans could be a strong first step.
Though Tennessee has been better on defense than offense this season, their passing defense has been about average. Players like Jurrell Casey and Harold Landry are impressive talents no doubt, but the numbers suggest the Titans are a rather run-of-the-mill passing defense. Especially due to the struggles their big free agent signing Malcolm Butler has been having this year.
The Titans are just 27th sacks with 15 on the year, and are 22nd in sack percentage at 6.2%. In comparison, the Cowboys are 6th in sack percentage (7.9%) and 18th in total sacks. Tennessee is also just 17th in ANY/A at 6.4 yards, which is basically the league average. Lastly, the Titans are 16th in defensive expected points added by passing defense, once again about average.
Tennessee's main culprit for their poor passing defense has been cornerback Malcolm Butler. Though he was signed to an expensive contract as a free agent this offseason, Butler has underperformed each week, making the Patriots look smart for allowing him to walk. The problem is the Titans are basically handcuffed into playing Butler because of that contract, so maybe Dallas can exploit him on Monday Night.
The addition of wide out Amari Cooper should give the Cowboys an extra presence outside the numbers, where they can hopefully target their new receiver against Butler.
As already mentioned, the Titans have some big names on their defensive front, but it hasn't resulted in impressive tangible numbers thus far. Still, Jurrell Casey will provide a big test for the interior of the Cowboys offensive line which has struggled against lesser competition than Casey at times this season.
If some things break right for them, the Cowboys passing offense could get some confidence back this week against the Titans. Whether or not it will result in some sort of “momentum” down the stretch is up for debate, but hopefully they can take advantage of a relatively mediocre pass defense on Monday.