Dec 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Bill Callahan on the sidelines against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The New And Improved Dallas Cowboys Offense


What will we see from the Dallas Cowboys offense in 2013?  Something needs to change because what they’ve been doing just isn’t working.  When your standard offense often leaves it up to special teams to kick a field goal, once you’re in scoring position, and you score more touchdowns in the hurry up offense when you fall way behind, something’s not right.

Dec 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett on the sidelines against the New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium. The Saints beat the Cowboys 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

I must confess that, although I’ve heard a lot about it, I have not actually seen Chip Kelly’s offense, as run by the University of Oregon.  But it is apparently exciting enough that several NFL teams were vying for Kelly’s services as head coach.  From what I understand, it is a no-huddle up-tempo spread offense with a zone read component to it.

There are some that say this offense will not work in the NFL, one only need look at two teams that made the playoffs, with rookie quarterbacks no less, that are using the zone read to great success.  Can this type of offense be run by the Cowboys?  That’s hard for me to say.  But the point I am trying to make is that the Cowboys need to try some new things, instead of their 100% commitment to the current offense that is a relic of the distant past.

Jason Garrett appears to still be running the exact same offense he learned from Norv Turner when Garrett was the Cowboys third string quarterback.  That in itself is a good reason why Turner would not be the answer if the Cowboys added a play calling Offensive Coordinator.  Not to mention his lack of success with the San Diego Chargers.

But the point I am trying to make here is that if you don’t evolve, you get left behind and that’s the Cowboys problem on offense.  I like Garrett as the Head Coach of the Cowboys, as the play caller not so much.  As mentioned earlier, there is a lot of speculation that Garrett’s play calling responsibilities are taking away from his ability to be a successful head coach.  I couldn’t agree more.  Also, I think being the head coach makes one a more conservative offensive coordinator.

So, if Jerry Jones sees what we all see and the changes he alluded to last week do involve a new play caller on offense, they need to look for someone that can be much more innovative than the current bunch at Valley Ranch.  Now I’m not saying it can’t be someone that is already there, because Offensive Coordinator, in name only, Bill Callahan had a pretty high flying offense when he coached the Oakland Raiders.

So maybe the answer it just turning the reigns over to Callahan and let him run with it.  But whoever takes over the offense needs to be innovative.  There are some coaches that take their philosophy and try to make their players fit it.  There are others, such as Mike Shanahan, that see what talents their players have and mold the offense to fit what they do best.  Which one do you think would be more successful?

Taking that into account, the new play caller for the Cowboys needs to truly be in charge of the offense, just as Rob Ryan is in charge of the Cowboys defense.  By being in complete control of the offense, this coach will have the ability to make whatever changes are needed for success.  Looking at the talent on the Cowboys roster, and history, this coach would determine there is a place for the no-huddle offense in the Cowboys arsenal, and not just when they are way behind or running the two minute offense.

As I have said in previous columns, the Cowboys should start the game with an up-tempo offense that will wear down the opposing defense and allow them to rack up some points early in the game.  Once they have a nice lead, then they can slow the game down and pound away at that tired defense with the running game.

And that’s not to say the running game shouldn’t be part of the up-tempo offense, because it should.  But in the up-tempo offense, instead of running from the power formation with a fullback, they should run from the three wide set when the defense is expecting pass and has extra defensive backs on the field.

Time will tell what the Cowboys decide to do, but something’s gotta change!

Tags: Bill Callahan Dallas Cowboys Featured Jason Garrett

  • Juanito Juanito

    bring in callahan in play call offense

  • I agree

    Dj Fluker & Eddie Lacy

  • californy

    Oregon run the offense Washington tends to run with a lot of line movement and QB running. They spread the OL and run alot of traps and Wham plays just like the Skins. The Skins run the option really good and the pistol offence. JG is still trying to run the Dallas offence ran in the 90′s with these nimble feet OL who get beaten at the point of the attack. JG doesnt understand player evaluation at all, he even bad at game adjustment. Callaghan I have no faith in either, any HC who would run the same play as his former offense coordinator ran the year before in Oakland is got to be clueless. He didnt change anything up either, just like JG.

  • bhill

    i submit that the players were the problem with the offense not the coaches. they could not sustain a drive because the receivers didnt know the routes and the linemen and others couldnt block or stay set long enough to run a play

  • Pachecho

    Anything to stop the ball being snapped in a panic wit :00 on the play clock. Garrett’s clock management is horrendous. Call a damn play!

  • Frank

    Is Garrett a true Offensive Coordinator? The Offense has been running the same generic plays for over 5 years. Second, the play calling is too conservative and the Offense plays with no enthusiasm. So to say Turner would be a bad fit, I have to disagree, he is a true OC. The Offense is so predictable that an IT Geek can figure out what they is the next play, unlike Redskins, I could not tell what was the next play, I can only imagine how a Defense Coordinator prepares when they play the Cowboys. Short passes, 99 percent of the passing game, this is why they can’t score in the red zone, because teams know that this offense is not an attacking offense, it’s a short yardage offense.

  • FTT

    This offense is too conservative and the players have adapted and accepted this type of scheme. Really, short passes are often, and defenses have caught on. I know what they are running, and I am not even a DC, I can only imagine how much effort they put into trying to figure out this offense, they do this full-time. Hey, maybe this is why the offense s#@! In the first half of all games! I will bet some money in Vegas that theCowboys will probably be 8-8 again next year if Garrett stays as the HC/OC. If it sounds like a duck, quacks like a duck,it must be a duck!

  • MarkRP

    lack of a decent offensive line really hinders what the offense can do. As long as Jerry Jones doesn’t take the o-line seriously, I don’t know what the Cowboys can do