May 10, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett (L to R) offensive line coach Bill Callahan and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson watch a drill during the rookie minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters in Irving, TX. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

What’s Going On with the Dallas Cowboys Offense?

Good football teams are built with years of planning.  Organizations have to make good free agent decisions when the free agency period opens in early March. The NFL Draft must be run well and the team needs to “hit” on half of their selections for it to be considered a good draft usually.  Undrafted free agents are the next wave of signings to occur. Finally, the pro scouting department must be prudent and find good players after teams are cut down and as injuries occur throughout the season.

While football games are won and lost on the field, one can’t help but to look at roster composition and extrapolate into what type of success a team may have.  The three phases of football consist of special teams, defense, and offense.  The special teams has been fine this year, and Dwayne Harris looks to have found a long-term niche with the Cowboys as the return man the team hasn’t had since Deion.  The defense has been gashed for yardage, but this “bend-but-don’t-break defense” has played surprisingly well considering the injuries dealt its way and the learning of an entire new scheme.

What is befuddling to many onlookers of the team, is how disjointed the offense has looked this season.  With a top 10 quarter back in Romo, top 5 receiver and tight end in Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, an adequate offensive line (downgraded with the loss of Waters) and decent group of running backs. Sadly, the offense has become the disappointment of this year’s squad.

In week 1 against the Giants, the Cowboys won the turnover battle 6-1, had 2 defensive touchdowns scored, and the offense only managed to score 23 points on their own to barely hold off the Giants 36-31.

In Week 2, the team managed 1 touchdown and 3 field goals in a 16-17 loss against the Chiefs.

In Week 4, the team scored two offensive touchdowns only in its 21-30 loss in San Diego.

In Week 6 against the Redskins in Dallas, the team managed just 165 yards passing and 48 yards rushing. However, the win was earned with standout special teams performance by Dwayne Harris where he had 113 kick return yards and 109 punt return yards and one touchdown.

In Week 7, the team was only able to put up 17 points in 17-3 victory in Philadelphia.

In Week 8 in Detroit, the team had 206 yards passing and 62 yards rushing. However 110 of those passing yards came on two big passing plays to Terrance Williams (60 yds) and Dez Bryant (50yds).

Many experts had felt that having Jason Garrett become the “walk around head coach” and giving the game play calling duties would improve the offense.  This in combination with the re-signing of Tony Romo where Romo stated he wanted to have much more say in the game planning, audibling and calling his own plays during the game.  One has to wonder, are there now “too many” hands in the pot? I don’t know, but I definitely endorsed removing Garrett from play calling duties.  I wanted a different offensive coordinator brought in, but still liked Callahan over Garrett regardless.  Is Romo overruling Callahan’s calls or is Garrett overruling Callahan’s calls? Is Romo overruling both and doing his own thing on the field?  No one on the outside knows for sure, but this is definitely a situation to watch going forward. Getting this offense on track will be key if this team is to have any level of success this year, and all parties getting on the same page will play a big part into this happening.


Follow Craig Cortemeglia on Twitter at @ccortemegliaTLH

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  • SmartThinking

    Romeo’s play has been considerably more cautious in his play-calling this year. I don’t know if it’s because Callahan is more conservative than Garrett or what. If Romo is overruling the sent-in plays in the huddle and doing what he wants, it’d be nice to know that. If Garrett is overruling Callahan’s plays, well, it sure doesn’t look like that from the sideline shots we’re seeing. Maybe it’s just Romo being overly careful for a change. I do know that rather than hand the ball off, Romo would rather take the game onto his shoulders and throw the ball. He’s got 8 possible receivers rather than just 4 possible runners to play with. With the poor performance from the backs so far, I’m pretty glad Romo can throw or this team would be in a lot worse shape than it’s in right now. I’d like to see this offense raise the level of their play up to Romo’s level. And right now. Otherwise, the balance of this season’s results could end up worse than what we’ve seen from this team so far this year.

  • Peter Gunn

    It’s the offense, not the people calling the plays man! This has been the problem for the last several years. After the 13-3 year, the league has figured out this offense and it’s creator, Jason Garrett, has no adjustments. The offense is simple, predictable, and just doesn’t work. Why else do you think that the offense more than not settles for field goals, stalls in the red zone, or fails to get it done when it REALLY counts? Getting it done with teams that have losing records doesn’t count. This is the third defensive coordinator and things have not changed. It’s not the defense. The previous two defensive coordinators went to other teams and their defenses delivered.