It’s hard to believe the 2018 NFL season is merely just a few days away. The Dallas Cowboys will face off against the Carolina Panthers on the road this week, which means the much-anticipated debut of this new look Cowboys team has arrived. Finally some of the unknown surrounding this year’s team will be answered!
One such unknown though could actually prove to be beneficial for the Dallas Cowboys in the Week 1 against the Panthers, their offense. No one really knows what to expect from the Cowboys offense, which should make game planning for the Panthers extremely difficult.
How do you game plan for an offense like the Cowboys who has so many new faces expecting to play a large role this season? Well, that’s a task first-year Defensive Coordinator Eric Washington is undertaking this week for the Panthers.
Eric Washington isn’t a newcomer in Carolina. He served as the defensive line coach for the past seven years before being promoted to DC this past January. So, he should be pretty familiar with not only the players he is working with, but the expectations that comes with his new job title.
Knowing the team, its players, and the expectations should help Washington transition pretty easily in his new role. But, that doesn’t make game planning for the Dallas Cowboys offense much easier. All he can really do is speculate what Dallas’ Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan is planning and prepare his players the best he can.
As a Dallas Cowboys fan, and someone who has been trying to figure out all of this himself, I can attest that what we saw in preseason from the Cowboys isn’t anything like we will see in a few days. We didn’t see anything from Ezekiel Elliott, the offensive focal point, and just got a glimpse of the first-team playmakers.
No one can say with 100% assurance how the Cowboys playmakers will be deployed. You have new faces like Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin who are expected to be big contributors this season. Then you have holdovers like Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams, who could see their roles change a little. It’s this unknown that creates an advantage, even if it is just slight.
The only thing DC Eric Washington knows for sure about the Dallas Cowboys offense this week is that Zeke will assuredly be heavily involved. Beyond that, all he can do is guess and speculate.