Identity Crisis, Who Are These Cowboys? ⋆
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Identity Crisis, Who Are These Cowboys?

Dallas Cowboys

Identity Crisis, Who Are These Cowboys?

Identity crisis, who are these Cowboys?

One of the many problems I noticed with the Cowboys this past season was the fact that offensively they lacked an identity.

They definitely weren’t a west coast offense. They weren’t a smash mouth offense. They weren’t necessarily a pass-happy team. They weren’t a field position and time possession team. And, you really couldn’t consider them a balanced attack.

If I had to define the offense, I would call it a big play or bust offense.

Unfortunately, too many times last season, it busted.

The Cowboys seem to rely too heavily on the big play, especially when passing. It seemed that their philosophy was look deep first and foremost, and then look underneath. Now, I love big plays as much as the next fan, but I’m realistic. That type of philosophy is doomed for failure.

This is not Madden.

With Garrett being the offensive coordinator, I find it curious that he would employ such a philosophy. I thought he would bring back a version of the timing-based offense that was in place in the 90’s when the Cowboys had much success.

The playbook seems completely devoid of the slants, outs, comebacks, and deep slants that the Cowboys ran routinely when he was a backup quarterback. What is particularly troubling about that is the fact that the offensive personnel seem to be perfect for that type of offense.

Roy Williams is a big strong possession type of receiver. Miles Austin could possibly be that Alvin Harper type of receiver. Of course, Witten has drawn comparison to Novacek. And, Romo has the arm strength to make the throws.

The Cowboys still have the big offensive line. And while, they don’t have an Emmitt, they do have three running backs who are pretty good in their own right.

Maybe, now that Owens is gone, Garrett will bring back some of the old Cowboys playbook.

It would be nice.

At least then they would have an identity.

The Wizard has spoken.

7 Comments
  • mike

    Wiz you are going to see that offense this year. The traps with Felix and Choice . The ten or twelve yard out to Roy and the skinny post to Witten and Bennett. We still need some pieces to complete that package. A fullback ” a la Moose” to lead the runs or block the blitzing linebacker , a solid left guard “a la Larry or Nate ” and centre that can get the snap to the quarterback without it being another episode of adventure world. All three of these are fixable in the off season. Free agency is solidifying a lot of the defensive questions. Can we get a guard and fullback in the draft ? Sure can. Will the centre snap still be an adventure ? Probably. Well two out of three ain’t bad. Jason should be able to run his full offense. It should be fun.

  • http://www.cowboysfanrebellion.com Craig Cotton

    I’m hoping this will exactly be the case. Hopefully, without TO in his ear all the time, Garrett will now utilize all of the rest of the talent that’s on this team. We’ve already gotten good news that Felix probably start, now he just needs the touches. Swing passes, skinny outs, tosses, split him wide. Whatever it takes to get the ball in his hands. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the fact that Roy and Romo will be developing chemistry.

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  • https://insidethestar.com/about/ Bryson Treece

    That stuff with the bad snaps is BS … that’s probably the biggest non-personnel need this season, is communication on the field.

  • Shaun Wellman

    Defenses are constantly evolving and now contain athletes that would excel on either side of the ball. It’s time to move on and stop asking Garrett to try and re-create the offense of the early 90’s. Modern day defenses would shred that old version of Norv Turners I formation offense. Those days are over. Watch a Chargers game and you’ll see it for yourselves. Offenses also evolve and Garretts O is an evolved version of an offense designed by Don Corielle.

    The guy demanding the ball the most is gone.

    Balance is coming, and the athletes are already in place.

    Saying that “Witten has drawn comparisons to Novacek” is ridiculous considering that Witten has destroyed any and all single season and career bests stats that Novacek ever posted.

  • https://insidethestar.com/about/ Bryson Treece

    Shaun … very true about Witten, and it’s just a sign of the changes you mentioned. Today’s NFL offense is a whole other game for TE’s compared to 15 and 20 years ago.

    This will be more balanced now with Owens out of the picture, but Garrett has some work to do. Recreating the offense of the 90’s would not only be difficult, as you said, it wouldn’t be effective. But there were times last year when this offense was firing on all cylinders and still got shut down because … it seemed … that the defensive backs knew where the ball was going.

    Constant mistakes is one thing, and is usually the fault of the players on the field, but the defense looking like they knew where the play was going from the snap falls on the coordinators shoulders. Owens affected that a bit with his demands for more balls, but I don’t think it was all him, and I don’t think it was all injuries either.

    Garrett has got to understand his players better, cause only then will he consistently put each player in a position to do their very best.

  • The Wizard

    I was in no way suggesting that Garrett dusts off the old 90’s playbook, that would be silly. But, even when you watch the Chargers, you see elements of those old plays. They have of course been updated as defenses have evolved.

    Last season, according to several defenders, the Cowboys had the easiest playbook to dissect. Even I could tell most of the time what the play was.

    My point was Garrett didn’t run plays that best suited his players. I don’t think that had anything to do with Owens or any player for that matter.

    Garrett simply did a poor job, that is it. Hopefully, this season he’ll learn from his mistakes and do better. If so, the Cowboys could have great success.

  • Shaun Wellman

    OK, I need to clarify my T.O. comment.

    What I meant was that with T.O. gone Garrett doesn’t have to focus so much on getting him the ball. That is why our offense started to look so vanilla.

    Garretts offense was so effective his first year because he ran first, which opened up the passing game, and then spread the ball to all the different weapons. Often the result was that alot of drives ended in big plays to T.O..

    In 07 T.O. had more yards and touchdowns, but Witten led the team in receptions. Crayton had a nice year moving the chains and Barber was more effective in the passing game.

    Their effectiveness at making every little play made it easier to make the big plays for 3/4 of the 07 season. There at the end of the 07 season it did seem like they were living and dying by the big play.

    Garretts success early in 07 has been his biggest obstacle late in 07 and all of 08.

    Ownership, fans and media all began to expect the big play, and so he keeps trying to give it to us. The more big plays T.O. made the more he kept calling for the ball.

    It did’nt work as well in 08 because in order to keep everyone happy (Jerry Joones and T.O.) he had try and find a way to get T.O. the ball more. The owner wanted it. The fans wanted it, and the media was happy to either cover it or T.O. complaining about the lack of it.

    Now that the talent level is more even, Romo will spread the ball around more which will balance out the passing attack.

    Don’t expect them to just plug Roy E into T.O.’s spot and keep doing the same shit. They don’t need him to.

    The three-headed monster we have now at tail back will give us back that balance between run and pass, which of course means a more balanced offense overall.

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