We’ve seen many cases and in plenty of games, of the Cowboys shooting themselves in the foot.
Whether it happens in a challenging shootout or in a supposed easy win, there are plenty of changes that can accelerate the Dallas Cowboys for a deeper playoff run.
1) Runs on First Down
During the 2019 season, the Cowboys faced their first offensive trouble against the New Orleans Saints. Although the Saints had a tougher defense than the first three opponents that were faced, the lull of the offense was not helped by the consistent first-down runs that were clearly not helping.
During that game, Moore, or Garrett as some may say, called eleven runs on first down. Out of those eleven runs, only two were deemed successful. On the contrary, there were eight passes called on first down, and six of those were successful.
With three potential 1,000 yard wide receivers on the roster, hopefully, those first down runs will come to a screeching halt.
2) Unprepared Special Teams
Dallas’ special team is very known for being…not good.
According to Cowboys Wire, they ranked 30th in DVOA, tied the league-lead missed field goals, and they were ranked 29th in punt return.
The New England Patriots games let the audience see not only how unprepared the special teams’ players were, but how bad the special teams coaching was.
With the new addition of a statistically great special teams coach, it would be good to see better change.
3) Same Rotation of Defensive Players
Jourdan Lewis has had great plays, for the most part (i.e Eagles fumble that wasn’t a fumble), whenever he is on the field. The interception and general ball skills he’d shown in the New York Jets game from Week 6 gave fans a chance to see the ability he has in an otherwise tough game.
With the inconsistency showed by familiar players such as Jaylon Smith and Chidobe Awuzie, this has presented an idea that we utilize all of the defensive talents on a rotating, unexacting schedule. There are very underrated players on the Cowboys roster that is either used as special teams additions or not used at all.
As mentioned previously, there has been a great amount of sufficiency added to the defense, so stability should improve.
4) Timid Coaching
The overall problem with lack of regularity, cohesion, and etc. has all the fingers pointing to the previous coaches, and that’s not just on Jason Garrett. Yes, the head coach will have the most blame, however, it has been obvious that it isn’t 100% of his fault.
For example, ex defensive coordinator, Rod Marinelli, and current offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, have had their definite struggles later on during the season that have hindered plays and drives. That Minnesota Vikings game is the absolute definition of a coach shooting themselves in the foot. For example, the Vikings were not joking when they said they had a plan to slow down Ezekiel Elliot. Although that plan worked, they had no plan to stop Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. Dak had a great game with almost 400 yards passing yards and a touchdown: interception ratio that was 3:1.
Calling for an outside run on the 11-yard line on 3rd and 2 with 1:06 left on the clock while your running back has been getting locked up all game sounds more and more ridiculous as it’s being typed. In Cowboys-fashion, the team had 20 seconds to make a successful Hail Mary, and yes, it was not successful.
Three out of four of those problems started with “New” which tends to speak for itself.
There have been so many big changes this offseason that it’s near impossible to have the same problem arise again. But, as always, only time and the new season will tell.
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