Dallas Cowboys: How the coaching staff has turned it around
The Dallas Cowboys players are playing their hearts out on the field. But it’s the coaching staff that’s creating opportunities for players to succeed.
The Dallas Cowboys just knocked off a team that many believed was the favorite to win the Super Bowl last night. They are now riding a four-game winning streak and have taken sole possession for first place in the division.
A lot of the credit goes to the players for executing the game plan but the coaches deserve credit for coming up with these game plans as well. Thursday night’s game showed us a few ways that the Cowboys play calling and coaching decisions have evolved during this winning streak.
Let’s start with a few examples on the offensive side of the ball.
Dallas offensive coordinator Scott Linehan’s play calling has started to get better throughout this hot streak for the Cowboys. Thursday night you saw Dallas using more rub routes to get receivers and tight ends open. Something that had been lacking over the first eight games of the season.
Linehan has also started using a lot more misdirections to scheme players open. A prime example is the designed double screen pass where quarterback Dak Prescott faked a quick receiver screen to Cole Beasley to move the defense to the left while running back Ezekiel Elliott snuck out of the backfield for a running back screen to the right resulting in a first-quarter touchdown.
Linehan needs to keep getting creative and force teams to worry about every player the Dallas Cowboys put on the field.
On the defensive side of the ball, nothing has really changed scheme wise but the game plans have been lights out! Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and defensive backs coach Kris Richard have called the right plays at the right times.
For example, deciding to use cornerback Jourdan Lewis to shadow running back Alvin Kamara on passing downs was a great decision that helped take the playmaker out of the game.
Now, they will have a big decision to make once linebacker Sean Lee is ready to return to the lineup. I hope they keep potential defensive rookie of the year linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in his role as the starter.
The sky’s the limit for the Dallas Cowboys this season and with the play calling, on the offense getting better and the stability of the defensive play calling, this coaching staff seems to finally be on the right track.