clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Brandon Weeden: Film Breakdown Of His Pass Plays vs. Washington

The Cowboys backup QB looked good in his two series of play.

Ronald Martinez

Everybody is waiting to see if Tony Romo will play against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. If he does play, we don't know if he'll last the whole game if he starts taking some punishment. Any way you look at it, Brandon Weeden stands a fair chance of getting some snaps in that game. With that in mind, let's see how he did in the Washington game. It's a small sample to be sure, but we'll check it anyway.

Play 1


This was Weeden's first pass in the game, and probably one of the most controversial play-calls in the game. The Cowboys are facing a 2nd and goal from about the four yard line. This play looks like a run/pass option for the quarterback and Weeden did call out to his receivers before they ran the play. The reason it must be a run/pass is notice that the linemen fire off the ball instead of dropping back in to pass-blocking mode (yellow arrow). Weeden actually makes a decent throw to Dez Bryant who is being covered one-on-one, but the Washington corner makes the better play in breaking it up. Still, I would have rather run on this play regardless of how Washington is aligned on defense.

Play 2


On the next play, third down, the Cowboys go to the air and Weeden makes the right pass. Washington blitzed and pressure is coming through the middle (yellow circle) so Weeden doesn't have a ton of time. Dez is the best bet (red circle) while the rest of the Cowboys receivers are covered (blue circles). But the Washington corner gets enough distraction on the catch to where Dez can't haul it in.

Play 3


The first pass on the next series shows the Cowboys play-callers were concerned about the blitz and how Weeden would handle it. They put Weeden in the pistol and then have him only drop back one step (blue circle). He throws to James Hanna (yellow circle) who is just hitting the top of his short route and is about to turn his head. On the other side, both Cowboys receivers are running short routes and already have their heads turned towards Weeden (red circle). The Cowboys were calling short drops and quick patterns for Weeden here, something they probably should have done more of with Romo. Washignton didn't blitz on this play.

Play 4


On Weeden's next pass the Cowboys protected him again. They run play-action to hold the linebackers (yellow circle) and it also holds Brandon Meriweather who is playing at the end of the defensive line (red circle). The Cowboys run a max-protect scheme initially anticipating a possible blitz which doesn't come.


The Cowboys only send their two wide guys into the pattern initially as the running back holds up looking for a free blitzer. When none comes he eventually releases (black circle). Both wideouts are open with the target ending up being Terrance Williams (red circle). Dez (blue circle) is also open. Weeden gets a nice pocket to throw from (yellow circle). Here the Cowboys protected Weeden with play-action and an initial max-protect scheme if a blitz came.

Play 5


His next pass was a screen. But as they set it up, Cole Beasley basically runs a drag across the defense, something I wish they would have run more often.


As the screen progresses, Weeden does a great job of selling it. He's giving ground to the Washington defenders (yellow circle) then a loops a soft pass over their head right on target to the running back (red circle).

Play 6


Here is the touchdown pass. Washington actually blitzes this time, but the Cowboys pick it up and don't leave a pass rusher to come free. The Cowboys get the line blocked up (yellow circle) and the Cowboys running back is picking up the blitzing safety (red line).


As the play progresses, the line is still keeping a clean pocket (yellow line) and the blitz from the safety is picked up (yellow circle). Down field, Jason Witten gets wide open (red circle) because Dwayne Harris (blue arrow) takes the corner and safety with him on a post. Even on the backside Dez is open (black circle). This play was well-designed, the Cowboys line picked up the pass rush and the running back handled the safety blitz. Weeden delivered a strike.


It's a small sample size but might be an indication of the type of offense we'll see if Weeden has to play on Sunday. The Cowboys either gave him quick-drop, quick-outlet plays, or they gave him a lot of protection if they wanted to go deeper. Weeden proved that when given time he could throw strikes. Much of the field goal drive was a DeMarco Murray run, but the touchdown drive was a nice mix of run and Weeden passing.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys