Is there such a thing as too much offense in the NFL? It’s an interesting question in a league that has become dominated by pass-happy offenses that have too many weapons for defenses to cover.
The recent Super Bowl ran counter to that idea, though, as a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense shut down a top-flight aerial attack from the Kansas City Chiefs. But that game comes with an exception. The Chiefs offensive line was playing with backups in multiple positions and they had to shift guys around just to make it work. One has to wonder if the game would have been different if the Chiefs would have had their regular offensive line.
There is a school of thought in business and in personal growth that suggests that you should add to your strengths instead of trying to fix your weaknesses. Our own OCC covered this last year in the run up to the draft when it was suggested that the Cowboys take CeeDee Lamb if available.
Could the Cowboys be facing a similar situation in 2021?
Bleacher Report recently suggested some trades that would create great offenses, and they included the Cowboys. Of course, the Cowboys are included in a lot of articles because of their popularity. But let’s examine what they were suggesting.
Dallas Cowboys Receive: 2021 first-round pick (No. 8 overall)
Carolina Panthers Receive: 2021 first-round pick (No. 10 overall), 2021 fourth-round pick (No. 106), TE Dalton Schultz
Even if Dak Prescott has to play another year with the franchise tag, the Dallas Cowboys would have one of the most high-powered offenses for at least a season with him and the addition of Florida’s Kyle Pitts.
The suggestion of the Cowboys drafting tight end Kyle Pitts riles up many in the fanbase. Making a trade to do it would create even more consternation, but let’s forget the trade part for a moment.
With the problems on the Cowboys defense, it has been said that the Cowboys should only pick a defensive player at #10 regardless. On the surface, addressing need in the draft seems like a fairly decent proposition. Drafting the best player available can cause problems; Tom Ryle looked at some issues around this in an earlier post. It’s entirely possible that Kyle Pitts is the best player available when the Cowboys are up in the first round. But should BPA overrule fixing the defense?
Maybe it all depends on how you view the defense. Last year they were horrible, but in the years before that they were not. They were more middle of the pack, mainly bogged down by not creating turnovers. Could it be that the change in coaching and scheme were mainly responsible for the train wreck in 2020 instead of personnel? Will Dan Quinn, plus a couple of key free agents, stabilize it enough to allow the Cowboys to choose any player they want at pick #10?
Forget the trade aspect of the Bleacher Report suggestion and just focus on the Kyle Pitts acquisition. It’s a little crazy to suggest the Cowboys trade up for Pitts, but if he slid to pick #10, then you have the dilemma.
Tight end Blake Jarwin, who signed a three-year extension with the Cowboys last offseason, could take his time on the mend from a torn ACL. Dallas would still field an elite pass-catching group featuring wideouts Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb along with Pitts.
At 6’6”, 246 pounds, Pitts has the body of a tight end with the hands of a wide receiver. He’s a fluid pass-catcher who can also line up in the slot and exploit matchups against linebackers and safeties. The Cowboys could move him around the pre-snap formation to cause all sorts of issues for defenses.
In 2020, Dallas’ passing attack ranked eighth in yards despite operating without Prescott for 11 games because of his ankle injury, which required surgery. Assuming he makes a full recovery, the two-time Pro Bowler would force opposing defenses to pick their poisons with a bevy of high-quality playmakers on the perimeter.
If Pitts develops as many think he will, it could also soften the blow if the Cowboys can’t re-sign Michael Gallup after this year. But for the year 2021, the Cowboys skill positions would be off the charts. They would be a nightmare to try and cover.
There are a couple of factors in play here. One is obviously what the Cowboys scouting department thinks of Pitts. If they are as high on him as many draft scouts are, then he could very likely be the BPA at pick #10. The other factor that plays significantly here is what the Cowboys do in free agency. If they pick up a cornerback, and a defensive tackle, would that, along with Dan Quinn taking over, be enough to give them the freedom to choose any player they want?