The most talked about storyline this offseason revolves around an offense that started off slow but finished strong in 2018. Despite the strong second half of the season, the Dallas Cowboys had a hard time overcoming red zone inefficiencies and play calling predictability from former Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan.
With Linehan out and Kellen Moore in, we've all been curious as to what the Dallas Cowboys offense will look like in 2019. We've heard that Moore wants to be “multiple” in the way he presents the offense to opposing defenses. Meaning he wants to mix up personnel and formation to disguise what they are trying to do while attempting to find mismatches presnap.
“Kellen has been incredible and they've challenged us. The different looks that they have, how they're dressing things up, how many weapons they have, using all of them. It's been a challenge for us defensively, each day, different looks, throwing (the looks) at us fast. It's good for us because it stresses our system and we have to take on that challenge every single day.”
Sean Lee – via Jane Slater, NFL Network
You can check out the full interview below.
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) June 11, 2019
Aside from a couple of games in 2018, the Dallas Cowboys defense was the best unit on the team. The offense didn't really do enough to pick up the defense when they had a bad day in Indianapolis and Los Angeles.
With Kellen Moore providing a fresh twist on the Dallas Cowboys offense, the offense has been able to put a lot of stress on the defense and challenge them in these practices.
Now, it's just practice and the defense isn't allowed to hit the quarterback, but hearing Sean Lee talk about the number of playmakers the team has and Moore's willingness to deploy them is a very encouraging thing. It supports the idea that Kellen Moore wants to deploy a variety of formations and personnel groupings in order to keep defenses on their toes.
Moore wants to be able to run the same play out of 21 personnel (2 RBs, 1 TE, 2 WR's) that he might run out of 11 (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs) or 12 Personnel.
Having versatile players like Amari Cooper — who can play in the slot or on the outside — and players like Randal Cobb, Tavon Austin, Jamize Olawale, and Tony Pollard — who can line up all over the formation — the Cowboys have a plethora of versatile playmakers they can deploy in a variety of ways. Because of the versatility of their playmakers, the Cowboys are able to move them around to find exploitable matchups in the passing game and it takes pressure off of Ezekiel Elliot and the running game.
No longer will defenses be able to predict what the Cowboys are going to do based on a particular formation or personnel grouping.
The other way the Cowboys will stress defenses is by using more presnap motion. By using presnap motion, the Cowboys will force defenses to adjust or to tip their hand at what they're trying to do. The motion helps Dak Prescott determine if the defense is in man or zone and helps to reveal potential blitzes.
Hearing that the defense has been “challenged” and stressed” from All-Pro Linebacker Sean Lee, who's one of the best linebackers in the league at diagnosing a play, should make us take note.
Again, these aren't padded practices and they're going against a defense who hasn't had the opportunity to watch the film of the offense. That said, these are encouraging signs from an offense that needs to take a step forward in 2019 for the Dallas Cowboys to be considered legit Super Bowl contenders.