Super Bowl XLVIII played on Sunday February 2, 2014 was one of the rare moments when in the biggest game of the year the best statistical offense faced off with the best statistical defense for the NFL championship. Lining up to do battle; on the Denver Broncos sideline quarterbacking great Peyton Manning prepared to take on Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s aggressive defensive scheme.
The end results of the best offense versus the best defense were not even a close competition as Seattle utterly defeated Denver 43-8. The high-powered Broncos offense was laid low by the Seahawks attacking style defense. Peyton Manning generated pedestrian numbers throwing 34 completions on 49 attempts with 280 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks took a page out of old school football’s book as they dominated the time of possession, ran the ball 29 out of 55 offensive plays, generated more turnovers, and finally scored two defensive/special teams touchdowns. Seattle’s offensive line was stellar too as it did not give up a single sack while paving the way for 135 rushing yards.
Legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry said,
“I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.”
So, what can the Cowboys learn from the beating the Broncos offense took this past Sunday?
One thing for certain is that while it makes for an entertaining game watching quarterback Tony Romo throw the ball 75% of the time, running the ball and winning the time of possession battle is how championships are won. As the season wore on, it seemed as though the Cowboys were resigned to simply out throw their opponents. The results were obvious with an 8-8 record at the end of the season, but what is perplexing is why the Dallas coaching staff stubbornly continued not running the ball when everyone knows winning the rushing statistical category translates into victories.
Another lesson the Cowboys can gleam from the Seahawks Super Bowl victory is that a team does not need superior quarterback play to win games. I mean no offense to Russell Wilson, but I believe Tony Romo is a higher skilled quarterback. Wilson certainly is more elusive and quick on his feet than Romo, but if you asked me to take one of those players in a head-to-head competition; I have to go with Romo.
The Seahawks won the line game as well. Their defensive line held Denver’s rushing attack to a pathetic 29 yards on 14 attempts with just a 1.9 yards per rush average. Seattle’s offensive line did not allow a single sack giving Russell Wilson all day to throw the ball.
Finally, the outcome I believe the Cowboys can learn the most from was that the old cliché still holds true in that a dominant defense wins championships. The NFL has proven time and time again that a sound defensive scheme will always trump incredible offensive game plans.
What I hope most is that Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones and the coaching staff led by Jason Garrett took notes during the Super Bowl, and will translate that data into drafting offensive and defensive linemen first and foremost in the 2014 NFL draft. The Dallas line play must improve, and the defense has to dominate. If the Cowboys can get just a handful of impact defensive players, they can get out of the 8-8 season slumps and start moving in the direction of a league championship.
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