Nov 4, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar (25) runs the ball in the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Jason Garrett, Free The Dallas Cowboys Offense!

Cowboys Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett should free the Cowboys offense, and I’m not talking about Doug Free.  Large contract not-withstanding, I’ve seen his work and I’m not impressed. 

Nov 4, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr (39) tips a pass intended for Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (84) during the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Cowboys 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE

No, what I am talking about is a more wide open offense that utilizes the no-huddle approach.  In last night’s game against the Atlanta Falcons and last week against the New York Giants, the Cowboys were able to move the ball downfield quickly when they went to no-huddle. 

And the added benefit is that the quick pace tires the defense, as we also saw last night.  So, rather than wait until the Cowboys get behind with time running out, why not utilize the no-huddle at the beginning of the game to build a lead?  With a nice lead, they can then take their time and chew up clock later in the game. 

The no-huddle also limits the defense’s ability to change personnel packages and keeps them from running some of the more exotic plays designed to confuse the other team’s offense.  There seems to be too much emphasis on time of possession in this league, which is why I think more teams don’t employ the no-huddle. 

But look at the Buffalo Bills of the early nineties with Jim Kelly and their K-gun offense.  Who is worried about time of possession when you can ride your offense to four Super Bowls in a row?  When the Cowboys go to no-huddle, they seem to have less penalties as well.  I guess not having a lot of time to think about the play before they run it helps. 

More on last night’s game:

Mistakes happen-All NFL teams, the good ones and the bad ones, have occasions where the wide-open receiver drops the ball, the good ones are able to overcome it.  So, while these drops are a problem, they are not as big as the penalties, which continue to be an issue with this team.  Penalties are drive killers for the offense and keep the team from getting off the field on defense.   They ultimately are the difference in whether you win or lose.

Atlanta’s receivers are as good as advertised-Although losses of Cowboys key defensive players were, no doubt, an issue with last night’s defensive performance, the Falcons receivers are relentless and just keep coming at you.  At some point, the Falcons just wore the Cowboys defense down.

Garrett kind of took my advice-In last week’s column, I said we need to see more of Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris and Lance Dunbar, and we did.  However, I would like to have seen more of Cole than we saw last night and would like to see Harris used more as a receiver too.  Dunbar and Harris both looked good on kick returns.  Too bad the Cowboys couldn’t get more out of Harris’ great punt return than a field goal.

Next week it’s the Eagles in Philadelphia.  To say it’s a must-win is an understatement!




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