Last year, Jason Garrett loved using 2 formations with extreme frequency. ’12 personnel’ (1 back, 2 tightends) and ’11 personnel’ (1 back, 1 tightend). With the blocking prowess of Martellus Bennett in the 2 TE sets, and the passing catching abiliy of Laurent Robinson in the 3 WR sets, Jason Garrett laid down his bread and butter.
2012 will be a bit different. We’ve lost both of the key components to either personnel with both Marty B and Laurent Robinson leaving, but we’ve made some killer acquisitions. The big key is the loss of Tony Fiametta and the addition of bruiser FB extraordinaire, Lawrence Vickers. Whatever team Vickers blocks for, the running backs have career years (previously Peyton Hillis and Arian Foster).
With Jason Garrett dedicated to keeping his offense a balanced attacked, expect to see a lot of Lawrence Vickers on the field. Last year, rookie DeMarco Murray came on the scene and torched opposing defenses on the ground. Putting one of the best blocking fullbacks in front of him will keep defenses honest, and have benefits down the road as well. I’m a firm believer that our 4-minute offense was more of a problem last year than our 2-minute defense. There were 5 games that the Cowboys could have closed had we just run out the clock. Look to see our running game take over in the 4th quarter like the 2007 Cowboys did.
Now, I am a fan of a tough running game. It works for me every time on Madden online, so it must work in the NFL as well. Last year, the top running team was the Denver Broncos, but that was because of the passing inept Tim Tebow. The Cowboys have a top 5 QB in Tony Romo, and would love to put the ball in his hands as often as possible. But to keep Tony off his back, we need a strong running game. This will take some stress off of Romo, and keep him out of bad situations. With a strong running game, Romo will take less snaps, will have less opportunities to turn the ball over being a gunslinger (and yes, I know Tony protects the ball better than average), and will keep the defense on the bench and rested.
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