Perhaps you have heard the old quote from Einstein “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. That, my friends, is the insanity Cowboys Head Coach and offensive play caller Jason Garrett has subjected us to for most of the 2012 season.
November 11, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett reacts after a play against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
Garrett is trying to succeed with what is basically the Norv Turner Cowboys offense from the early 90’s. But look around, do you see Emmit Smith anywhere? How about Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin? And most importantly, do you see the massive pile driving offensive lineman from those teams? Those teams used their huge offensive line to pound other teams into submission with the running game, along with throwing in a healthy mix of medium to long passes.
And that’s the issue. This team does not have the personnel to succeed with that offensive scheme, although they keep trying every week. So, what is one to do? I have continued to stress that the way to go for this team is the no huddle offense.
The proof that this would work for the Cowboys is staring us right in the face. Look at the Redskins game, Cowboys Turner/Garrett offense-3 points, no huddle offense-28 points. Results have been similar in previous games, such as the near comeback versus the Giants. And this success came even though everyone in the building knew the Cowboys had to pass!
If you need more proof on the validity of this scheme, look at Texas A&M. They beat number one Alabama with this offensive approach. Look at the Buffalo Bills of the early 90’s, they went to four consecutive Super Bowls with their K-gun no huddle offense.
How does the no huddle offense work and why is it better for the Cowboys you ask? Simple. The Cowboys would use a set consisting of 3 wide receivers, 1 tight end and 1 running back. In response to that, the opposing defense will likely use a combination of 6 lineman and linebackers, with 5 defensive backs.
Nov 22, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) is pursued out of the pocket by Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher (56) and defensive lineman Lorenzo Alexander (97) during the game on Thanksgiving at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
Because Tony Romo is calling the play at the line of scrimmage, they are able to get set and snap the ball quickly. This does not allow time for the defense to change personnel, so they have to stay with the same defensive set on every play, as long as the Cowboys don’t take time to change personnel. The quickened pace causes the defensive lineman to tire, but they don’t have time to send in replacements.
It would improve the Cowboys running game as well. With the defense spread out to cover the receivers, there are more holes for the running game. And to make it even easier, there is one less lineman/linebacker type for the offense to block, due to the extra defensive back the defense employs to stop the pass.
With this offense there are some concerns about scoring too quickly and not allowing the defense enough time to rest between series. How much time does the defense get to rest when the offense is constantly sputtering, with many three and outs? Besides, the Cowboys defense still played well these last few games, even after being forced into the no huddle offense in order to try to catch up.
And, once the Cowboys have built a lead by employing this offense at the start of the game, they can then slow the game down later by playing their standard offense. By then, the opposing defense is tired enough that we can have our way with them, running the ball at will to close out the game.
I just can’t understand why Garrett continues to keep trying what is obviously not working, and is so reluctant to try this approach when it has worked so well every time they’ve tried it. As I have said several times now, what does he have to lose?