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The real problem with the Cowboys’ offense

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At Dallas News, I posted a breakdown of what I believe is the major problem with the Cowboys’ offense:

I think Jason Garrett has improved in some areas as a coordinator, but utilizing the element of surprise isn’t one of them. Garrett preaches execution from his players, frequently using his bigger personnel packages to run the ball and the smaller ones to throw it.

The problem is that the Cowboys aren’t the only team on the field. In theory, the offense is at their “best” when passing with four or five receivers on the field, for example, but defenses compensate for various personnel packages, negating any advantage the offense might have owned. Thus, it’s sometimes in the Cowboys’ best interest to pass with no more than two receivers on the field (or, on the flip side, run from pass-oriented packages).

Don’t believe me? Below, I’ve listed the Cowboys’ passing stats that I’ve collected thus far in 2012, broken down by personnel. As a quick refresher, the first number in the personnel package indicates the number of running backs on the field and the second is the number of tight ends. Thus, “22” personnel is two running backs, two tight ends, and a wide receiver, “11” personnel is one running back, one tight end, and three receivers, and so on.

  • 22 – 4 for 5 for 59 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT — 115.8 rating — 11.8 YPA
  • 12 – 8 for 12 for 136 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT – 97.9 rating — 11.3 YPA
  • 21 – 14 for 20 for 199 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT — 114.4 rating — 10.0 YPA
  • 11 – 77 for 110 787 yards, 3 TD, 4 INT — 84.2 rating — 7.2 YPA
  • 10 – 3 for 9 for 33 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT — 5.6 rating — 3.7 YPA

Until Garrett begins to place the offense in the optimal position for success instead of thinking they should execute all of his plays all of the time, this offense won’t fulfill their potential.

Read the whole post at DMN.

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