The Dallas Cowboys offense is still productive, but expecting anything close to last year’s 13–3 season against better opponents is unrealistic.
With the Dallas Cowboys looking less explosive offensively, a new question is spreading around the league. People are wondering if NFL defenses have figured out the Cowboys’ offense.
We have had a top-ranked offense since head coach Jason Garrett brought his modified Air Coryell passing attack to the Cowboys as offensive coordinator in 2007. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has been added his fingerprints to the offensive game plan since 2014.
The Cowboys offensive system has slowly morphed into one that relied on the incredibly accurate arm of former quarterback Tony Romo to a ground and pound type running attack powered by a dominate offensive line. With that type of versatility, the Cowboys offense has been challenged by injuries and tough strength of schedules.
The strength of schedule is based upon the Cowboys’ opponents Win–Loss record from the prior year. In 2013, the Cowboys finished second in the division with an 8–8 record.
In 2016, the Cowboys were led by the dynamic rookie duo of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. Together, they destroyed opponents from the weakest strength of schedule the team had faced in years. This season, the Cowboys have the 10th toughest strength of schedule and now they have lost the use of the NFL’s leading rusher.
I’m a huge supporter of running backs Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden sharing Elliott’s workload over the next six weeks. Having two experienced running backs behind Elliott means this offense shouldn’t stop running at full speed.
Putting points on the board is giving this team a chance at victory, however, expecting anything close to a 13–3 season against better opponents is unrealistic.