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Cowboys’ Offense Lacks Creativity and Deception

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The biggest issue with the Cowboys’ offense, in my view, is that little attempt is made to deceive the defense. I explained why at Dallas Morning News.

Playaction

From 2009 to 2011, the Cowboys averaged 97 playaction passes per season. Amazingly, those passes almost always came on 1st and 10 and almost never in short-yardage situations. Actually, over the past three years, the Cowboys have run more playaction passes with 20-plus yards-to-go for a first down than with between one and four yards-to-go. In 2012, we’re seeing more of the same—66.7 percent of the Cowboys’ 23 playaction passes have come on 1st and 10. The team is on pace to run just 55 total play-action passes on the season.

Screens

The Cowboys have never been a big screen team, but their near-total abandonment of screens in 2012 is puzzling. They’ve run only 10 screens all season, four of which were to wide receivers. While a case could be made that playaction passes require superior pass protection than traditional passes, screens are designed to slow down the pass-rush. If Garrett believes his offensive line is weak enough that he can’t throw the ball downfield or run playaction, you’d think screen usage would increase, but it’s done the opposite.

Head to DMN for the full story.

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