The DC Times

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

By

Cowboys beat the Panthers in spite of poor coaching

Subscribe to The DC Times
Never miss a post again!

At Dallas News, I gave numerous examples of Jason Garrett minimizing his team’s chances of winning on Sunday. The Cowboys really beat the Panthers in spite of their head coach.

The Cowboys left Carolina with a win, but that doesn’t mean that they deserved it. The offense was again completely stagnant, incapable of getting much going through the air or on the ground. Ultimately, Dallas was victorious in spite of the ultra-conservative play-calling from their head coach.

3rd and 9

With 3:39 left in the game, the Cowboys faced a 3rd and 9 at the Panthers’ 15-yard line. Down by one point, it seemed obvious that the Cowboys would attempt to put themselves in position for the go-ahead touchdown. Instead, Garrett called for a Phillip Tanner run right up the middle, inexplicably settling for a field goal attempt. There was just enough time left on the clock for Carolina to move down the field for the game-winning field goal, but not so much that the Cowboys could expect to get the ball back.

The decision ultimately worked out, but that doesn’t make it a good one. Over the past decade, the Cowboys have had 129 plays on 3rd and 9, passing on 88.4 percent of them. When they passed, the ‘Boys converted a first down 36.0 percent of the time—compared to 26.7 percent when they ran. Plus, the turnover percentage on the passes (6.1 percent) was lower than on the runs (13.3 percent). As the offensive coordinator of what could potentially be one of the league’s more explosive offenses, you have to trust your quarterback to make a good decision in that situation.

Read the entire article at DMN.

Be Sociable, Share!

5 Responses to Cowboys beat the Panthers in spite of poor coaching

  1. Derek says:

    I was surprised to see that JG only called runs on 18 of the team’s first downs. It felt like every single one was a run.

    I should probably just stop reading your articles (but that would be foolish), because it makes it so frustrating to watch games, see the perfect set-ups for exactly what you describe, and then see JG take his hammer to his worn out nail.

    I swear he gets more conservative and predictable the more criticism he gets. He’s making it hard to root for this team. If they’re not even trying to win, why should I care if they do or not?

  2. Gabe says:

    Derek, that’s pretty sad if you think playcalling in a winning effort that proved to work makes you not want to root for the team…

    Regardless, I think the run on third down was the right call. You’re about to take the lead. Your defense is playing well and they have played well most of the year. You took a shot to the endzone on 2nd down that should have been a touchdown, but instead fell incomplete AND stopped the clock. Imagine if they threw again and it fell incomplete and stopped the clock one more time… In fact, you could have argued for them to run the ball on both 2nd and 3rd down to try to pickup the 1st down while also running down the clock. Regardless, he took a shot to the endzone that should have worked. He then felt that he needed to run some clock while taking the lead. It worked and they won.

    What if they had thrown it on 2nd and 3rd down and both fell incomplete and then kicked a fieldgoal, but with so much time the Panthers marched down the field and won the game? Would you be second-guessing him the other way? The fact is, he made a decision that won the game. You just seem to have an issue anyway he calls it.

  3. Derek–Yeah, it’s extremely difficult to watch the painful predictability at times. The 2nd and 1 runs and 3rd and 9 draw were particularly agonizing for me.

    Gabe–I don’t mind the idea of running on both second and third down, but the incompletion on second down shouldn’t affect the third down call. With around 3 1/2 min left in the game and a 3rd and 9 at the opponent’s 15-yard line, why “give up” on the chances for a touchdown in favor of milking the clock? I’d actually like the run more if there had been MORE time on the clock, but 3 1/2 min is right around the time Carolina needed to drive down the field without allowing Dallas to get the ball back. It’s certainly plenty of time to comfortably move down the field for a FG, but not so little that the Cowboys’ draw play really hindered Carolina’s efforts. The fact that it didn’t play out like that doesn’t make Garrett’s call a good one, IMO.

  4. Derek says:

    Gabe – It is very sad that the play-calling in a winning effort causes me to evaluate whether I have the fortitude to root for this team. Agreed.

    I actually didn’t mind the 3rd and 9 run at the end of the game. The trouble with it, though, is that the game shouldn’t have come down to that. If JG had been aggressive (or even sporadically aggressive), the Cowboys could have been well ahead at that point. I loved the touchdown to Miles. Dez and Miles can both make those plays. Why are they attempted so infrequently? I know there were a few miscues that dampened the game – like Dez’s drop and Tony’s overthrow to Miles, and Miles’s fumble. But JG has not taken advantage of his resources. When the running game is working, leverage it. When you have dominant receivers, throw them the ball down the field. When it’s 2nd and 10 after an incompletion, please feel free to pass the ball again instead of running it every time.

    I agree that play-calling shouldn’t be criticized based on the results. The trouble I have is that the process is flawed and getting worse. And I hate that injuries are the only way for JG to experiment with personnel. Even mighty Miles never got much of a chance until he became the starter through injury. Why not give Phillips and Hanna more opportunities to exploit defenses? Why not use Beasely as THE slot guy, taking out the unreliable, not-very-smart Ogletree. None of this will happen unless JG is forced into it. It’s very frustrating.

  5. 5blings says:

    That call was simply playing not to lose. Garrett has shown less and less faith in his offense of late. It is sad to watch, in a league of wide open offense and with a team of talented skill players, the Cowboys waste their opportunities because of doubt and distrust.

    This team cannot contend until they forget about results and start doing the right things the right ways. Then, and only then, the results will come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *