Following the Cowboys 51-48 shootout loss to the Denver Broncos, there was extensive talk about how explosive the Dallas offense was. With Tony Romo playing at a high-level, getting Dez Bryant & the Gang the ball and watching big plays happen all over the field, Cowboys fans had a lot to be excited about on that side of the ball.
However, since that week, the offense has failed to maintain such a high level of play. They struggled mightily against Washington & Detroit, and although the numbers were better against Philadelphia, they hardly lit it up in that game either.
So what's the element that keeps this offense from being consistent and putting up big plays and big numbers week to week no matter the opponent?
In my opinion, which was echoed by Nick Eatman on "The Break" at the Mothership on Wednesday, this offense doesn't have enough of what Eatman called "Wiggle". They don't have that shifty guy who gets the ball on a regular basis who is going to make the first guy miss almost every time, and turn a short dump off completion into a first down or an explosive play.
If you look at some of the best offenses in the NFL they have guys with wiggle. The top six offenses in the NFL in terms of Total Yards/Game are as follows with their corresponding "Wiggle" or Space player.
Granted, the Cowboys have guys who you think have wiggle potential. Guys like Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris, and Lance Dunbar have shown the ability to get runs after the catch and make guys miss, but none of those guys get regular touches. Cole Beasley gets more balls on offense than Harris or Dunbar, but even he has limited opportunities.
Dez Bryant makes people miss, but with his ability to high point the ball and make plays down the field, you don't want to use him as a check down guy. You can get him the ball short in a quick game 3-step drop type situation, but if you're taking 5- or 7-step drops, or running play action, you've got to send #88 down the field.
There have been complaints about how much short passing the Cowboys have done this year, with people clamoring for the deep ball looking for a big play. However, I doubt those complaints would be so loud if the guys catching those short passes were making big yards after the catch, and the team was moving the ball. Those deep completions are naturally more difficult to complete, due to pass rush, and pure percentages, but if you have some wiggle on your offense allowing you to gain 20 yards on a higher percentage catch and run, it will help your offense move the ball more consistently and ultimately score more points, & win more games.
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