We are finally just weeks away from having some new Dallas Cowboys film to analyze, but as we go down the final stretch of the Monday Moment series, we land in Minnesota on a Thursday night in December.
Looking about as bad as they had their entire season, the Cowboys offense couldn’t get out of their own way through most of the first half. Sure, the Vikings defense had been doing a nice job, but overall the Cowboys had been beating themselves.
They needed a big play, and from the arm of Dak Prescott and play-making of Dez Bryant, they got one.
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What I love about this play call is how the Cowboys finally got creative. After simply trying to jam it down the Vikings throat without much success, they come out in an empty set to try to confuse Minnesota.
On the outside, Dallas stacks Cole Beasley and Dez Bryant, something they did successfully in the red zone against the Cleveland Browns. Ideally, Bryant would be running off the underneath defenders, allowing for Beasley to work in man coverage underneath, something he does very well.
Instead, the Vikings stay relatively disciplined in their zones, leaving Bryant to beat safety Harrison Smith himself.
And, he does it.
There isn’t a ton to analyze deeply here, as Bryant simply puts a double move on Smith who bites way too hard. Once he bites, Bryant is all by himself and there is no stopping him.
Prescott delivers a solid throw, after forcing Smith to bite with a pump fake, and the Cowboys come up with a huge completion to finally break through offensively.
Going forward, I would personally like to see the Cowboys in empty sets and 11 personnel more often. I know they have the ability to bring two tight ends on the field and run behind their powerful offensive line, but spacing the defense out more will open up running lanes simply by alignment.
This would also allow for more space to work read option packages, and to take more shots down the field such as they did here.