Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) scrambles against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Offense Should Resemble the 2013 Denver Broncos

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Welcome to the speculation season! Writers and reporters are going crazy to look at the schedule and predict what the Cowboys’ final record will be. I’ve seen everything from 3 – 13 to 13 – 3. If you know me, I’m extremely optimistic regarding the Cowboys but I’m still driven by logic. There are teams in the league that haven’t decided who will be their starting quarterback. One of those teams is division rival Washington that added Tommy Rees and Colt McCoy to compete with Robert Griffin III and the starter at the end of last season, Kirk Cousins.

The truth is – the NFL is a week to week league. Players get injured, traded and more on a regular basis. Last year, we played against the Chicago Bears while they were missing Jay Cutler. We played against the Kansas City Chiefs that went 2 – 14. With a new quarterback and coach, the Chiefs managed to defeat us by 1 point and finished with an 11 – 5 record. It’s impossible to predict what will happen this season. A five year old picking the Carolina Panthers to beat the Miami Dolphins because he thinks Panthers eat Dolphins make equal sense. So my plea to Cowboy Nation is not to get to emotional by the predictions you’ll see this off-season.

I find solace and optimism in our Cowboys. Ignore that Scott Linehan is supposedly obsessed with the passing game. The Lions offense revolved around Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush. Three quarterbacks had more passing attempts than Stafford last year. Of course, for comparison, I added our Tony Romo and the Super Bowl winning quarterback Russell Wilson.

 

Name

Attempts

Yards

Yards

Per

Attempt

TD / INT

Rating

Peyton Manning

659

5477

8.31

55 / 10

115.1

Matt Ryan

651

4515

6.94

26 / 17

89.6

Drew Brees

650

5162

7.94

39 / 12

104.7

Matthew Stafford

634

4650

7.33

29 / 19

84.2

Russell Wilson

407

3357

8.25

26 / 9

101.2

Tony Romo

535

3828

7.16

31 / 10

96.7

 

You don’t hear any reporters mentioning that Manning, Ryan or Brees have offensive coordinators obsessed with passing the football. Of course not, because they aren’t America’s Team. With those lofty passing numbers, you’d expect the NFL’s leading receiver to come from one of those teams. The leading receiver was Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns.

 

Name Rank Receptions

Yards

Average

TD – 1st Downs

Josh Gordon

1st

87

1646

18.9

9 – 64

Calvin Johnson

3rd

84

1492

17.8

12 – 69

Demaryius Thomas

4th

92

1430

15.5

14 – 66

Eric Decker

12th

87

1288

14.8

11 – 63

Dez Bryant

13th

93

1233

13.3

13 – 67

Jimmy Graham

15th

86

1215

14.1

16 – 61

Marques Colston

27th

75

943

12.6

5 – 54

Jason Witten

36th

73

851

11.7

8 – 44

Julius Thomas

43rd

65

788

12.1

12 – 41

Wes Welker

44th

73

778

10.7

10 – 49

Terrance Williams

51th

44

736

16.7

5 – 31

 

Manning had two 1,000 yard receivers and two other potent receiving threats. Brees’ leading receiver was his tight end. In Detroit, the only receiving threat was Calvin Johnson. Of course, if you’re throwing the ball, the running game should suffer. Linehan found a way for Stafford to hand the ball to Reggie Bush and he managed more than 1000 yards.

 

Name

Rank

Attempts

Yards

Average

TD – 1st Downs

DeMarco Murray

10th

217

1121

5.2

9 – 59

Knowshon Moreno

12th

241

1038

4.3

10 – 53

Reggie Bush

13th

223

1006

4.5

4 – 46

 

I’m aware that perhaps Manning had that dream season. That once in a lifetime statistical season that may or may not ever be repeated. Yet, the Denver Broncos still found a way to get the ball to four receivers and have 1000+ rushing yards. The 2014 Cowboys have an offensive roster similar to the 2013 Broncos. Expect the leading receivers to fall in this order: Bryant, Williams, Witten, Murray, Devin Street, Gavin Escobar  and Lance Dunbar. Everyone is studying the 2013 Detroit Lions, but with our personnel, we may be better served to look at the Broncos.

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