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


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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  • truthbetold

    Just one problem. You don’t have a Peyton manning under center. the driving force behind Denver’s ridiculous defense is Peyton manning being other worldly. That’s not happening with Dallas.

    • Robert H. Carroll

      In Romo I trust. — Okay, stop laughing. He has thrown for more than 4,000+ yards four times and almost broke 5,000 yards in 2012. I’m not a yardage freak, just a numbers guy. Let’s shift it to the receivers increasing their YAC – If Romo had more yards with less attempts, I could live with that. With fewer attempts, we won’t scream that Romo, Linehan & crew are pass happy… Who am I kidding, they’re gonna say we’re pass happy after 5 attempts or the first 3 and out.

  • SmartThinking

    You stress a point most everyone on this site fails to remember: all the other teams drafted good players, too. And the touts say, as recently as this morning, that the Giants had a better draft than Dallas. We’re all guilty of bragging on our improved offensive line and faster, bigger receivers. But, in this league, there’s a little thing called Mutually Assured Destruction. In other words, every time we think we’ve got an edge, our division opponents, for sure, figure out a way to offset the advantage.

    All the other division teams have younger, significantly healthier QB’s as well. Most were rated higher than Romo in the recent NFL 100 poll.

    So, I say, if this team is going to pattern itself after a winner, Denver sure beats Cleveland. I just wish we’d stop taking Cleveland’s players and expect them to play like the 49er’s.

    • Robert H. Carroll

      Sup Smart.. That NFL 100 poll means nothing! Our division opponents didn’t figure anything out last year as we went 5 – 1. Unless their defensive plan is Romo not being able to play (Week 17) and beating us by 2 points. I may be missing something tho.. Besides Weeden, how many other players are former Browns?

  • Old Frog

    I’m in a minority but I’d rather have 2400 yards rushing than Denver’s offense. I’m tired of the new NFL and everybody’s emphasis on the passing game. You don’t physically intimidate anyone passing the ball. I want the Cowboys to bulldoze other teams into the ground. My dream is for opposing DL and LB’s to leave the game hurting and wishing they never had to play the Boys. I want players from the other teams getting notes from home and calling in sick so they won’t have to dress for the games when they play the Cowboys.

    • David

      Like I said above, Denver last year is maybe the 3rd best team but Id argue they would be the 4th or 5th best team..

    • Robert H. Carroll

      I am a fan of smash mouth football too. There’s an advantage to running out of pass “looks” and passing out of running formations. The real strength is being able to run the ball when you want to run it, even if the other team knows you’re going to run it. I think we’ll be able to do that this year.

  • David

    The last 5 out of 7 Super Bowl winners won with defense and a strong run game. Those teams all had average to good QB’s. Last years Denver model is not the one to look to. Last year Denver was at best the 3rd best team and maybe even the 4th or 5th best team. This article is flawed.

    • Robert H. Carroll

      Not sure how the article is “flawed”. I didn’t rank any of the teams or focus heavily on the last 5 of 7 Super Bowl winners. I compared the Broncos offensive distribution of the ball and their receiving weapons to ours.