Happy New Year! It could be happier for Cowboy Nation with our team in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we went out with a bang and Jerry Jones. Well, he got another great “show”. Some owners don’t care about the football team, some care about winning, ours cares about entertainment. Jerry, great shows have happy endings. To quote comedian Mike Birbiglia, “What you should’ve said was nothing.”
Jerry Jones, you will forever be associated with the Dallas Cowboys. Look around the league and realize you are the only owner / general manager that’s giving post game press conferences and speaking about the health of our players. As the owner of the most popular football franchise in the universe, you don’t have to do press conferences, interviews, radio shows or commercials. Fade from the spotlight and focus on giving us the best football team possible.
Now, I’m torn regarding Jason Garrett’s return as head coach. The offense was inept at times because they tended to become extremely pass happy and completely abandoned the running game. To save his job, Garrett snatched play calling duties from Bill Callahan mid-season. On 4th & 1 in the season finale, Garrett is completely responsible for not callling a full house formation and running the ball for a yard?
Find yourself a “Fridge”, a “Freezer”, an “A/C Unit” and “The Kitchen Sink” and simply run for one yard. Getting the ball after a defensive sack/fumble deep in enemy territory and kicking a field goal is another example of your ineptitude. Winning teams covert turnovers into touchdowns. As bad as our defense performed all season, the last loss was on the offense. Perhaps the whispers of his supposed “Offensive Geniusness” has gone to Garrett’s head when the key to success is just keeping it simple, stupid.
Although the offense had its bad moments, the numbers indicate they were definitely productive, actually a lot better than I realized. The Cowboys offensively ranked fifth overall in the regular season with 439 points scored, averaging 27.4 points per game. The Cowboys ranked 5th in the NFL with 47 touchdowns.
Positioned by points scored, the fifth ranked Cowboys and 10th ranked New Orleans are the only teams that averaged less than 100 rushing yards per game. Dallas finished with a 94.2 average and New Orleans averaged 92.1.
The Cowboys offense always seemed to stall at the worst times, but they scored touchdowns 68.63% of the time when they reached their opponents red zone. That ranks them 3rd in the league behind Denver and Cincinnati (shocker!).
The Cowboys went 12 of 13 on field goals of less than 40 yards. Nine of those attempts were between 30 – 39 yards. Dan Bailey went 10 – 10 on field goals between 40 – 49 yards and 6 – 7 on field goals of 50 – 53 yards. #PayThatMan
I’m not mentioning that to point out how great Dan Bailey was this season. With all the attention paid to Denver’s offensive statistical domination, the Broncos attempted 26 total field goals while the Cowboys attempted 30.
Even though Garrett and Callahan would stop running the ball, the Cowboys still rank favorably. They ranked 6th in the NFL with an average of 4.5 yards per carry. The Cowboys ranked 24th in total rushing yards with 1,507, but had the second lowest number of rushing attempts with 336.
Four NFL teams had more than 500 rushing attempts while eight teams had less than 400. The Cowboys should’ve ran the ball at least 120 more times last season. Had they done so, our 8 – 8 season could have easily been 12 – 4. Once again, I’ll give credit to Bill Callahan for his offensive line coaching. He inherited a team that didn’t run the football because they couldn’t. He turned them into a group that could run the ball, but didn’t. I can justify retaining Callahan as an offensive line coach and removing the salary bonus that comes with the Offensive Coordinator title.
If Jason Garrett were fired and the offense overhauled, would it be possible to do better offensively? I find that to be doubtful, even with the inclusion of Garrett’s play calling brain farts. Even with statistics showing why I should be happy that Garrett and the offense remains I still have a major gripe with him.