Dallas Cowboys Have A “Pick Your Poison” Offense

Is it too obvious to state that the Dallas Cowboys will live and die by the success of their offense in 2016?

It should really come to no surprise to anyone that has followed the Dallas Cowboys over the past several years. The organization has invested heavily on the offensive side of the ball, despite the fact that everyone seems to believe that defense wins championships.

Obviously, owner/general manager Jerry Jones doesn’t seem to buy into that belief and if you take a good hard look at what Jones and Company has been able to put together on the offensive side of the ball, you might just agree.

The 2016 offense for the Dallas Cowboys should be one of the top units in the entire NFL and if I’m a defensive coordinator game planning against this unit, I think I would definitely have some sleepless nights ahead of myself.

America’s Team is going to have a “pick your poison” offense in 2016, and that’s without their projected starting quarterback Tony Romo.

Unfortunately for defensive coordinators on the Cowboys schedule this year, Dak Prescott might just make the offense just a little bit more difficult to game plan for. Don’t get me wrong, Romo will absolutely be missed while he’s out recovering from his injury, but Prescott adds a little different dimension.

Let me try to break this down all further and explain what I mean by “pick your poison”.

Dak Prescott

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys "Have A "Pick Your Poison" Offense"The New York Giants will be the guinea pig about how to game plan for a rookie quarterback with only preseason game film to go by.

I think it’s pretty obvious teams are going to stack the box and try to shut down the running game, thus putting the offense in the hands of the Cowboys 2016 fourth round draft pick, Dak Prescott.

Well, if that’s what opposing defenses are going to try to do against Prescott, then they better be prepared to be exposed in another area of their defense.

Prescott has the ability to make plays with both his arm and his legs, hence the other dimension I mentioned earlier. He has been doing this since he first started opening up eyes with his play on the field back in high school and in fact holds many of the schools records at Mississippi State because of these traits.

The coaching staff is going to put Prescott in the best position to win as possible. That means probably a lot more snaps in shotgun and maybe even a little more a zone reads than we’re used to seeing.

Although you are losing Romo’s experience in the offensive scheme and his ability to make pre-snap reads, you’re gaining a much more mobile QB that can make plays in a variety of different ways.

Ezekiel Elliott

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys "Have A "Pick Your Poison" Offense" 1
Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

There is a reason the Dallas Cowboys drafted Ezekiel Elliott so highly. He is not only one of the best all-around running backs to come out of college in arguably the past decade, but he is the perfect fit for the Cowboys offense.

We didn’t really get to see a lot of Elliott in the preseason, but the small sample size we did see against the Seattle Seahawks should ease any concerns you might have had.

Elliott ran with speed, power, vision, decisiveness, and attitude. He is going to make everybody forget about DeMarco Murray.

Defenses are going to try to take him of the game for reason, but that’s easier said than done.

Elliott can hurt a defense by not only running the ball, but catching the ball out of the backfield as a receiver. It’s not something he did a lot in college at Ohio State, but he is more than capable of being a dangerous threat in the passing game.

Elliott’s versatility to line up all over the formation is really going to be hard for a defensive coordinator to game plan for.

Offensive line

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys "Have A "Pick Your Poison" Offense" 2The Dallas Cowboys offensive line is arguably the best in the NFL, and for good reason, but not many people understand why they are so good.

Personally, I think it all comes down to two words, agility and power.

Every member of the offensive line has the agility needed to play in that zone blocking scheme that the Cowboys like to use, but they also have the power to line up head-to-head against the opposing defensive line and create a push up front.

This versatility allows them to get creative in their blocking assignments, mix matching zone and power running schemes. This can really create confusion for opposing defenses and is one of the reasons why the Cowboys running game has been so successful.

In pass protection, they do a great job of communicating, which allows them to pick up exotic blitzes and stunts.

This talented and versatile unit will be a huge reason why the Dallas Cowboys find success in 2016.

Dez Bryant

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys "Have A "Pick Your Poison" Offense" 3No one might benefit more from the addition of Ezekiel Elliott then Dez Bryant. There was a reason Bryant’s best season in the NFL was in 2014, when the Cowboys stayed committed to the run.

Defenses had to decide whether they wanted to double cover Bryant or commit an extra defender in the box to try to stop the running game. Either way, they were wrong with whatever decision they made.

Bryant is the definition of playmaker and has to be accounted for wherever he lines up on the field.

He is arguably the best WR in the NFL at high pointing the ball and coming down with the catch. He can also take a simple short pass and take it to the house because he is so dangerous in the open field.

I fully expect that Dez Bryant will have an outstanding 2016 season. We have already witnessed that he has a connection with QB Dak Prescott and there seems to be no lingering effects from his 2015 injuries.


Obviously these aren’t the only weapons the Cowboys have an offense, but they are the ones that a defensive coordinator has to make sure the game plan for.

I didn’t even mention future Hall of Famer Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, or Terrance Williams. The list can go on and on, but I think you get my point.

We just have to hope that the Dallas Cowboys “pick your poison” offense can carry the team in 2016, otherwise they are going to be in big trouble.

Do you agree or disagree?

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.

What do you think?

Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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