There has been talk recently about the Dallas Cowboys, as well as other teams, adopting the Wildcat formation that was introduced to the NFL by the Dolphins. Although not a unique formation, as it is used more in college football, it was extremely effective. The funny thing is though that out of all the teams that tried to duplicate the success of the Dolphins with this formation failed miserably. There is a large reason for this. The Dolphins built this formation around its players, while all of the other teams, built their players around the formation. While there was actually a thought process and a way and a reason to execute this offensive attack in the Dolphin's game, all of the other teams did it just because they saw it work. This would appear to possibly be a new age in football if teams follow in the Dolphin's shoes, not by duplicating the wildcat, but by creating unique offenses/defenses around the members of the team.
One possible formation that the Dallas Cowboys could use is a 3-back set. People constantly are wanting to make the running game bigger in Big D, now that we have 3 capable backs. This 3-back set does not, however, utilize all three halfbacks. Instead it would use a fullback and two runningbacks. This allows a third back to rest on the sideline and also have the halfbacks doing their prescribed duties (Running the ball, catching passes or blocking on a pass play), while the fullback can take care of the grunt work, such as blocking, like he is supposed to. With 3 capable running backs and concerns of giving each one playing time, this formation would facilitate that goal. Not only that but it may confuse defenses, as all three halfbacks have a unique running style. Now with two of them on the field defenses don't just have to worry about Barber's "banger" style, Felix's "cat quick" style, or Choice's "tough and quick" style. Now they would have to worry about a combination of the two, since a defenses mindset will change depending on who is on the field. Now they won't know until the ball is snapped how they need to play. This could be very beneficial to the running game.
With only 11 players allowed on the field, one possible disadvantage to this new formation would be the lack of the passing threat. With 5 linemen, a QB and 3 backs, there is only room for two more players, most likely a WR and TE. However, there is always the possibility of sending your backs in motion, forcing defenses to shift and creating another reciever. Each of our backs have proved that they are capable receivers. Maybe not as much as the traditional wide receivers, but each can catch and run with a ball and make plays.
However effective this play may seem, there would be flaws to it. But, this is a formation that would be specific to our team and no one else. Teams will attempt to duplicate a teams offensive attack in making defensive preparations each week. However, with a formation they do not know how to effectively use themselves, it creates quite a disadvantage, a big reason why the wildcat was so effective, because no team ran it strategically and with the ability that the Dolphins did. Maybe it is time that the Cowboys follow their lead and not adopt the Wildcat, but create a new formation around the talent that they have, thus being a thing that teams will only see when they face the Dallas Cowboys, making them that much more dangerous offensively. As the saying goes, "It isn't the size of the sword, its how you use it", and we must find a way to effectively use each of our many weapons.