This is the article where I pretend to know more about football than Jason Garrett and Bill Callahan combined. No, this isn't The Onion, but an attempt to fix the Dallas Cowboys ailing offense. So without fanfare:
1. Give Tony Romo some very simple throws for the first few series against the Giants utilizing his best playmakers. After watching the All-22 film of him the past few weeks, he looks unsettled in the pocket. He looks more jumpy than he normally does and he's not letting plays pan out before making the throw. In short, the dude is discombobulated. He needs some confidence building, some rewards for effort, he needs to find his rhythm again. Ok, but what specifically does that mean? Throw Dez Bryant some quick slants or crossing routes, even hitches or other short passes. Move Dez in motion towards the slot and let him operate over the short middle. Run Jason Witten or Cole Beasely on pick plays with Dez over the middle, use DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar in the passing game. Give Romo his best targets with quick reads and let him get rolling.
2. Then, open it up and let Romo take his shots downfield. The Cowboys do need to attack more down the field, but Romo also needs to be more accurate on those throws. He needs to not only hit those open receivers, but also hit them in stride going in the right direction. Romo has been off in this department, but maybe by getting him into rhythm early with easy passes to play-makers, he'll regain some of his downfield magic.
3. For sanity's sake, please run more play-action passes. I mean, Romo and the offense kill on play-action plays, but for some reason we refuse to use them more often. It's ridiculous.
4. Run DeMarco Murray from the center to the left side of the line. Forget about the right, maybe once a game to let them know you still will run right. But the Cowboys are so much better when running center-to-left, like over a yard per carry better. Watch the first touchdown drive against the Saints for evidence. And it wasn't just the Saints, our most effective running is to the left, just give in and make 90% of the runs against New York to the left.
5. Why is Lance Dunbar in the doghouse? I don't know if he really is in the doghouse or if Callahan/Garrett have forgotten about him. Let's get the ball in his hands in the passing game. Get him some of those early throws from Romo talked about above, and get him outside on some sweeps or something. Murray is your workhorse back, but Dallas needs some jitterbugness out there. Let's see what Dunbar can do if given the chance.
6. The Cowboys tight ends are not great run blockers, even the Senator has slipped some in this area. James Hanna misses blocks on a pretty regular basis. Gavin Escobar is worse. Dallas should either start using Escobar in the passing game, or deactivate him on game day and use Andre Smith as the blocking TE with Witten. I don't care about where Escobar was drafted, he simply isn't helping the team right now. Hanna can help some in the passing game, so I would prefer seeing Hanna and Smith on the gameday roster if Escobar is not going to be used in the passing game.
There you go. Those are the tactical moves I would make to boost offensive production. What would you do?
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