I am going to try to come up with an interesting and contentious issue about the Cowboys every week. There will be no gossip about fights in practice, refusals to carry equipment, celebrity girlfriends, or fantasy football predictions. I will focus on the part of football that I find the most interesting.
I see football more as a chess match using humans, than a contest of individual match-ups. I prefer to ponder the philosophy and thought process behind the coach’s decision making more than evaluating how the players execute those decisions. I will also try to come up with questions that require reasoned answers based on evidence.
I hope that you will do more than just vote in the poll; I hope that you share the reasons for your vote with the rest of the readers. Find out the question of the week, after the break:
The week’s question started when I was writing discussing my thoughts about the Cowboys running game. It got me thinking about how necessary a potent running attack was in today’s NFL or in an offensive scheme like the one Garrett runs. I was thinking about how different Garrett’s offense is compared to Jimmy Johnson’s. I wondered whether passing to set up the run is a theoretically sound.
Then I started thinking about how teams used to build their offense around a running game. When you are building an offensive philosophy, or a weekly game-plan, any discussion of the role of the running game is usually linked to a few other concepts: time of possession/ball control, field position, and good run-defense.
I am old, so my conception of what it takes to win football games is oldschool. My beliefs are strongly rooted in the success of the NFC East teams of the 80s and 90s. (If someone even mentions John Riggins or ‘the hogs’, I still fly into a frenzied rage). I consider the 85 bears as an honorary member of the NFC East because of the style they played, and the obvious Buddy Ryan connection.
I still believe that the most effective way to build a winning football team, at any level, is a defense that is strong against the run coupled with an offense that can control the time of possession, tire the defense, consistently win the battle for field position, and mount a strong running attack.
I speculated that many fans believe that you can win championships without a ‘better than average’ running game, or a great defense, if your high-octane aerial attack can score tons of TD’s.
Before I pose the question, I have one final point: before you vote for the powerful aerial assault option, please review Ramirez’s article on the consequences of not having a power running game, it may change your mind: http://thelandryhat.com/2011/09/11/power-runner-missing-at-end-of-the-game/
Please feel free to use the comments section to explain why you voted the way you did. If you didn’t like either of the options I provided, please let me know about that as well.