Cowboys vs. Packers Week 9 Post-Film Study Review: What We Learned About Dallas
- By my count, Packers cornerback Charles Woodson blitzed 11 times–all on the same play. Like I mentioned in my post-game notes, outside linebacker Clay Matthews would twist way outside, forcing Marc Colombo to follow him. Woodson would blitz from the slot into the vacated area. It took until the final drive of the game for Dallas to realize they should throw hot to the slot receiver. On the majority of offensive formations, the running back should have recognized the blitz and stepped up. The reason it worked so well for Green Bay was because this guy had his worst game as a pro. . .
- Felix Jones. He played absolutely horribly. He continually missed assignments in pass protection and got his quarterback killed. I attributed two of the four sacks to him (the others went to Colombo and Doug Free), but he blew his assignment on a bunch of other plays that just didn’t result in sacks. He was playing so poorly that he needed to come out of the game in the fourth quarter, only to be replaced by. . .
- Marion Barber. . .not Tashard Choice. Despite being told he would receive a “heavy workload” this week, Choice didn’t get into the game until midway through the final quarter. He received only three carries, all coming with the Cowboys down 38 points. To me, this is one of the worst mistakes the coaches made this season. If you don’t want to play the guy, then fine, but don’t tell him he’s going to receive significant playing time. You never lie to your players. Choice was reportedly nearly in tears after the game, wondering why the Cowboys didn’t implement the gameplan they installed all week.
- I won’t say too much about this because I think it is clear now, but Wade Phillips must go. His car isn’t at Valley Ranch this morning (as of 10 a.m.), so there’s a good chance he’s already been canned. As soon as I find out more I will post it here.
- The Cowboys ran only 10 plays in Packers territory, and just five until the last drive.
- 40 of the 48 offensive plays came with the same personnel package: one tight end, three receivers, and one running back.
- 35 of the 48 offensive plays came out of Shotgun.
- Sticking to form, the Cowboys motioned early in the game–on 10 of the first 14 plays. They motioned only twice in the final 34.
- Jon Kitna hasn’t been afraid to call audibles. He checked out of six plays on Sunday night–three passes for 20 yards and three runs for 10 yards. Two of the three runs were draws, helping to prove that the high frequency with which the Cowboys run a draw play following an audible is a result of Jason Garrett, not Tony Romo. In my 2009 wacky stats article, I noted that 77.3 percent of Romo’s run audibles were draws.
- Dallas ran 10 total draws for 33 yards, two playaction passes for eight yards, and six screens for 10 yards.
- Kitna threw the ball 15+ yards on six occasions, and those plays totaled 86 yards (and an unnecessary roughness penalty on Green Bay). Maybe the Cowboys want to read this article on throwing the ball downfield.
- The Cowboys again refused to run counters. They called one on the first drive. It was unsuccessful, so they didn’t run another all game. Nice.
- I counted seven of Kitna’s passes as being off-target.
- Jason Witten came out of the game late, but he was in for 25 of the Cowboys’ pass plays. He went into a route on 15 of them (60 percent). The ‘Boys yielded three of their sacks when he was in a route.
- The Packers blitzed or showed blitz on 29 plays, even coming after Kitna up until and including the final drive. It must have been like child’s play for Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers. The Cowboys gained only 91 yards on Green Bay’s 20 blitzes, but 71 of those came on two plays. That means that the Cowboys gained an incredible 20 total yards on the Packers’ 18 other blitzes.
- One the nine plays that Green Bay showed blitz but didn’t come, the Cowboys gained 37 total yards, giving up one sack and throwing one pick.