The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

More on Gun Trips Play-Calling

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Earlier today I published an analysis of Jason Garrett’s play-calling from Gun Trips Left/Right and noted he’s called a pass play all 50 times the Cowboys have lined up in the formation this season.  Dating back to last season, that’s 113 passes out of 114 plays.

However, I decided to look at the specific types of plays being called from Gun Trips.  Specifically, I wanted to see if Garrett was dialing up any playaction looks from the formation, as that would indicate that he isn’t content letting the defense know a pass is coming.  Playaction passes would be a direct attempt to make the defense believe a run is on the way, meaning he doesn’t think his 50-for-50 pass attempts has done the trick.

The Cowboys have run only one playaction pass all season out of the formation, though.  So, while the extreme predictability of play-calling from Gun Trips certainly is a negative, at least it appears as though Garrett is aware of the trend.

Perhaps his unwillingness to alter his calls despite knowledge of a potential weakness makes that a negative too.

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4 Responses to More on Gun Trips Play-Calling

  1. john coleman says:

    To me this just further nails the coffin. I have fallin out of love quickly. I do like Garrett’s manner in handling the media and think he shows a lot of savvy. He also seems to be detailed and direct in his expectations. Clock management remains a concern. Then analysis like this create even more questions. Several of the regulars have sang his praises for the offense. This analysis has me thinking that we have some guys who are better than we think on that side of the ball. Despite being bullhead stubborn predictable we have managed to move the ball. If we had some fresh deceit what would we do? Also when Choice has limited touches and Columbo continues to play you have to wonder, “what the h**l is going on out there”? I’m not against Garrett, but I fail to see where the innovation will come from with him. Simply put, what would Sean Payton do with our offensive weapons. Like it or not Garrett has been the OC all along and the shortcomings are on him. Remember he was co-headcoach or assistant headcoach, so he should have had the freedom to do as he wanted. I’m fairly sure that Wade gave him plenty of rope. I think back to Romo’s first year as starter and how we were hitting some nice 20 to 25 yard plays regularly. I mean 3rd and 15 was still not really an issue. Was T.O. that good? That year we were explosive at least early on.

  2. You make an excellent point about the Cowboys’ level of talent. I’ve been saying all season it isn’t nearly as bad as people think, and this is a major reason. Imagine what this offense could do with a guy like Sean Payton running the show.

  3. john coleman says:

    One other thing. We seem to think that more formations is the answer. Why not run a half dozen different plays from the same formation? That would also help the substitution/clock management issues. Snapping the ball with 1 or 2 ticks on the play clock is for when we are ahead and salting away games, not for regular situations.

  4. That would sure help get rid of some of Garrett’s predictability. There are certain formations which the Cowboys use regularly that only contain one or two plays, and often times it is easy to tell which play is coming based on very specific alignment, body language, motions, etc. I would say I can accurately predict about seven or so plays every game before the ball is snapped, and that’s not including the strong side dives.

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