Dallas Cowboys: How Randall Cobb will change the offense
By Nathan Jones
The Dallas Cowboys agreed to terms with Randall Cobb. Whether or not he is an upgrade over Cole Beasley, the move indicates a change in offensive scheme.
The Dallas Cowboys allowed longtime slot receiver Cole Beasley walk in free agency, but added former Green Bay Packers wideout Randall Cobb in response. This move shores up the receiving core for at least a year, giving the Cowboys time to develop their younger guys in hopes one or more will improve.
But also, this acquisition indicates the front office’s commitment to helping out their quarterback, Dak Prescott. Beasley was undoubtedly a really solid receiver for Prescott. However, his size and speed limited the play calling by eliminating certain routes and plays. Beasley dominated on quick outs and quick in-breaking routes, but anything vertical was nearly impossible– His height becomes more and more of an issue the farther he goes downfield.
At 5-foot-10, Cobb is prone to being more reliable than Beasley in the middle of the field. He can run seam routes and catch contested balls over his head in tight pockets. And whenever Cobb catches the ball, he can take it to the house.
He can also be an upgrade in the fact that he can line up outside and be somewhat productive. This allows the Cowboys to do something they really want to do with receiver Amari Cooper.
If you look at pretty much every elite wide receiver in the league, they move around the formation. Cooper can do the same thing, but now with Cobb, the route concepts will be more unpredictable.
If Cooper lines up in the slot in a three-wide receiver set, everything is on the table: slants, digs, outs, seam routes, pop passes, corners, posts, etc. If defenses want to shadow Cooper with their best cornerback, they will be forced to play him in the slot where he is not as comfortable in.
In the outside, the nickel corner who always plays in the slot will be forced to play out of position as well. Across the board, defenders will be playing out of position.
Cobb might not have as many targets or yards as Beasley had, but he will open up things for other receivers. That is the key to making a threatening receiving core: finding players that complement each other and allow versatility.
An underrated part of Cobb’s game is that he can be used as a gadget guy. He can run jet sweeps, catch bubble screens, and line up in the backfield. All of these skills can be used by offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to do different things with the same players.
The Cowboys signed Cobb and resigned receiver Tavon Austin. Now, they have four receivers with true speed, not just quickness. And when Prescott scrambles, he has a veteran that has racked up plenty of yards on off-schedule plays.
Cobb also will help strengthen red zone production. Last year, the Cowboys were terrible in that area. They would march down the whole field just to get three points.
In the last three seasons, out of Cobbs’ 13 touchdowns, six of them came inside the 20-yard line. He is adept in finding holes inside the endzone, and his height does not drastically limit the offenses playcalling.
So Cobb is not necessarily a better receiver than Beasley at this time in their careers, but his skill set can allow the offense to change. Ultimately, it is up to Prescott and Moore to fully utilize Cobb in the passing and running game.
Do you think the addition of Randall Cobb was the right choice for the Dallas Cowboys? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below!