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A Closer Look At The Cowboys Offense


Total – 3rd (391.1 ypg)
Scoring – 13th (22.8 ppg)
Passing – 6th (262.5 ypg)
Rushing – 7th (128.5 ypg)

It’s December and it seems the Cowboys are in the midst of another December swoon. The Cowboys enter the Superdome Saturday riding a 2 game losing streak which has dropped them from the top of the NFC East to the second and final Wild Cart spot. While the offense has gotten some of the criticism for the losses, they are still a dangerous offense capabale of scoring in bunches.

The Cowboys’ offense starts with QB Tony Romo. The young QB is in his fourth season as the Cowboys’ starter and is having a career year. Through thirteen games this season, he has thrown for 3,574 yards with 22 touchdowns. The often-erratic quarterback has made better decisions this season and cut down his interceptions (7) to a career low. Romo is very athletic for his position and can be just as dangerous out of the pocket, whether it’s scrambling for yards or creating more time for his receivers to get open.

Romo has the weapons to make the Cowboys a dangerous offense. His favorite target is his TE Jason Witten, who leads the team with 77 catches. However, teams have been able to keep his production down this year, as he has only scored one touchdown this season. Witten is a smart veteran tight end who can block well in the running game as well. His backup Martellus Bennett is another big target and probably will not play this week again due to the after feects of a concussion suffered a couple of weeks ago.

Like the Saints, the Cowboys use a running back by committee approach. Marion Barber is the thunder back, the big back that will pound the ball at the line. He has good vision, patience and is a strong punishing back who also helps with blocking in the passing game. He leads the team with 716 yards on 166 attempts this season. Felix Jones provides the lightning in the Cowboys offense. Jones is a dangerous runner outside the tackles with great speed. His 6.2 yards per carry average leads the team. Tashard Choice is the all purpose back who can and will do anything for this team in the running game. He has a great combination of size, power, vision, and speed. Like the other two Cowboys running backs, Choice has soft hands and have the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

Miles Austin has established himself as the revelation of this year’s NFL season. His 10 catch, 250 yard and 2 TD performance against the Kansas City Chiefs is perhaps the best performance of the year by a receiver. He showcased his great vertical speed, elusiveness, and ability to break tackles in that game. He has 58 receptions on the season for 999 yards an is second in the league with 10 receiving touchdowns. Lined up opposite of Austin is former first round draft pick Roy Williams, who many feel has underachieved in his time in the NFL. He has great size and hands and is always a threat in the passing game. The third receiver, Patrick Crayton, also serves as the team’s punt returner. He has two punt returns for touchdowns this season, including a highlight reel 82 yard return in week 8 against the Seahawks.

Up front, Tony Romo has perhaps the biggest offensive line in the league to protect him. The unit is led by Pro Bowlers C Andre Gurode (6’4 313 lbs) and T Flozell Adams (6’7 338 lbs). Their biggest offseason acquisition this summer was G Leonard Davis (6’6 353 lbs), another former Pro Bowler. While this unit excels in blocking for the running game, they have struggled at times to protect Romo, having allowed Romo to be sacked 28 times this season.

The Cowboys offense, while full of weapons, has struggled to finish off drives this season. Starting with a Week 10 17-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Cowboys have only averaged 15.8 points per game in their last five games. The two wins in that stretch were a 24-7 win at home against Oakland and a lackluster 7-6 win against the Redskins. Last week against the Chargers, the Cowboys lost 20-17 but had several opportunities to score and could not convert. The Chargers held the Cowboys for four downs inside the five yard line and stalled a Dallas drive after a turnover to force a missed feild goal, all in the second quarter. In the huddle, Cowboys players where shocked to see that San Diego knew what the Cowboys were doing on offense.

There are two reasons to blame for this lack of offense lately. First, the playcalling has become stagnant and teams know what the Cowboys are going to run. Second, the players must execute better. Wade Phillips called out his offensive line for the goal line stand against the Chargers. The Cowboys must do better in both categories if they are to win the NFC East or a playoff spot.

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One Response to “A Closer Look At The Cowboys Offense”

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