Super Bowl LIV will feature two very different offensive identities. Now, the Cowboys must find theirs - David Moore, Dallas Morning News
Today’s game will feature two teams that have found new identities, but it’s now time for the Cowboys to find theirs.
“The offense will be built around making the quarterback successful,” McCarthy said shortly after taking the job. “So what Dak has established here in this current offense is very important to me as we put this offense together.
“When people ask me what type of offense we run, I say we run the West Coast system. It’s a system of offense that will be implemented into the Dallas Cowboys’ offense. It’s just really how we play-design, the detail of the play-design, how everything is tied to the quarterback’s feet, the timing component.
“The digit [timing] system, the West Coast offense, to me it’s really all the same. How you train the quarterback is what this is all about.”
New head coach Mike McCarthy only retained three coaches from Jason Garrett’s staff, and Doug Nussmeier is one of them. He’s moved from TE to QB coach, and he’s excited about his opportunity to work with Prescott.
“Working with the tight ends, like I said, those two years was enjoyable,” Nussmeier said. “But obviously I’m excited to get back to the quarterbacks, that’s kind of been my natural position over time.”
Nussmeier will take over for Jon Kitna with one of the most important jobs in the organization, which is working with Dak Prescott on his continued growth and development.
As a member of the previous coaching staff, Nussmeier obviously has an existing relationship with Prescott, though that’s about to grow by leaps and bounds. “The guy is going into his fifth year,” he said. “So I still think he’s just starting to scratch the surface of where he can go. I’m really excited about working with him.”
What the Cowboys can learn from Super Bowl LIV participants, including a big difference maker on Chiefs’ defense - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
John Owning tells us what the Cowboys can learn from these Super Bowl teams, including the growing infatuation with pre-snap movement.
49ers: More frequent use of pre-snap motion
There are countless reasons why pre-snap motion and movement are effective. Put simply, pre-snap movement forces defenses to recognize, communicate and adjust — three chances for a mistake. Pre-snap movement can help create numbers advantages in the run game (like more blockers than defenders at the point of attack) and pass game (like flooding zone coverage with more receivers than defenders). It can also help create superior angles in blocking and route running.
The 49ers by far use pre-snap motion and movement the most in the NFL — 75% of their offensive snaps incorporating some kind of pre-snap motion, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Cowboys were one of the few teams that were more successful than the 49ers when using pre-snap motion and movement, but Dallas used it much less frequently (~59%). It’s not that the Cowboys need to learn how to use pre-snap motion — their success rate proves they are doing just fine in that area — they just need to lean into it more, like San Francisco has.
How Ex Cowboys Coach Kris Richard Might ‘Fail Up’ To A Super Bowl Team - Mike Fisher, Sports Illustrated
Kris Richard failed to bring the Legion of Boom to Dallas, but could he on his way back to the west coast to reunite with Richard Sherman?
The Niners have Super Bowl LIV business in Miami to attend to on Sunday, after which they are expected to lose passing-game coordinator and defensive backs coach Joe Woods. He’s been a key assistant to coordinator Robert Salah in building what became in 2019 the best defensive in the NFL. Woods is bound to join the Cleveland Browns to serve as new head coach Kevin Stefanski’s defensive coordinator.
As Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tells it: ”From what I understand, among the candidates being considered to replace Woods are former Cowboys passing-game coordinator for defense, Kris Richard.”
Bleacher Report hands out their awards for the season, including one that many fans believe should’ve gone to Cowboys Travis Frederick who returned after missing the entire 2018 season with Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Comeback Player of the Year
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers (3 votes)
The 49ers entered the 2018 campaign as a trendy dark-horse playoff pick. But those postseason hopes vanished after Garoppolo went down with a torn ACL in Week 3. This year, the Niners entered the year with far lower expectations. Fifteen wins later, they’re now getting ready to face the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.
While San Francisco’s defense and ground game deserve much of the credit for the team’s success, Garoppolo also deserves a fair share. Garoppolo’s numbers aren’t eye-popping. He finished the regular season with 3,978 passing yards and 27 touchdowns, and he attempted only eight passes in the win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.
The staff over at the Mothership make their votes for some individual awards that were handed out at the NFL Honors show Saturday night.
Rob Phillips: I want to start with Travis Frederick. What he went through in 2018 – a successful but arduous battle against Guillain-Barre syndrome – was far beyond a normal football injury. So much respect for what he was able to do this past season, returning with 16 starts at center and a fifth Pro Bowl selection.
Now, on to the rest of the awards. If you’re good enough to be the MVP of the National Football League, you’re good enough to win Offensive Player of the Year honors, too. That’s why Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson deserves both. Over 3,000 passing yards, over 1,200 rushing yards, 36 passing touchdowns to only 6 interceptions, and his team was the top seed in the AFC? No-brainer. We saw Stephon Gilmore pick off Dak Prescott in the Pats’ win at Foxboro in November, and he was the best player on the best defense this season. Kyler Murray had a solid year for Arizona playing the toughest position in the game. Nick Bosa has been a catalyst for San Francisco’s defense and a big reason why they’re in the Super Bowl. Kyle Shanahan led the 49ers to a 9-win turnaround this year.
Here is how the rest of the staff voted...
Social media has gone crazy about the possibility of a Dez return to Dallas, but not everyone shares that enthusiasm.
Why are fans so excited about bringing back a 31-year-old wide receiver that hasn’t been great since 2014 and hasn’t played a single football game since 2017?
“Let’s bring him in with less pay!” some argue. But hear me out, there are other free agents available. If what we want is to upgrade the wide receiver position or give it more depth, going with a younger player with upside might be the best option.
Not to mention, it’s a deep WR rookie class and the NFL Draft will provide a ton of options for the Cowboys. Even re-signing 30-year old Randall Cobb is a way better idea. He fills a starting position in the slot and has played well over the last couple of seasons.
The last time he caught 80+ passes was 2014.— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) February 1, 2020
The last time he had 1,000+ rec yards was 2014.
The last time he had double-digit TD's was 2014.
I've just described two WR's. Which one would you rather have?
As Super Bowl 54 is upon us, take a brief moment to reflect on the the last time the Cowboys were playing in the big game, including all the weapons the 1995 team had and a defense that came to play.
“Defense wins championships”, that has always been the saying. In the ’95-’96 season, that rang true for the Cowboys. After shutting out the New York Giants 35-0 in Week 1, the ‘Boys doubled down and changed the football landscape. They signed then free-agent Deion Sanders, and took off from there. The defense, behind a set of triplets of their own, wreaked havoc on most teams, forcing 28 total turnovers. Sanders, Larry Brown, and Darren Woodson combined for 11 of those turnovers, 10 coming by interception.
There has been no shortage of excitement in Super Bowls, especially in recent years, which is why it shouldn’t be all that surprising that one of the most thrilling Super Bowls the Cowboys have been in barely cracks the top 10 of The Athletic’s ranking of all 53 contests.
9. Super Bowl XIII: Steelers 35, Cowboys 31
Jan. 21, 1979, Miami: Terry Bradshaw set Super Bowl records with 318 yards passing and four touchdowns as the Steelers beat the rival Cowboys in a rematch of the Super Bowl from three years earlier. Lynn Swann and John Stallworth both went over 100 yards receiving. It was a back-and-forth battle to start, and was 21-17 Steelers at the start of the fourth quarter. A Franco Harris touchdown was followed by a Cowboys fumble on the kick return, leading to another Steelers touchdown within a minute. Pittsburgh led 35-17 with less than seven minutes remaining and despite the close final score were never in serious danger of losing thereafter, becoming the first team in history to win the Super Bowl three times. —MS