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!

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