The Dallas Cowboys have put together a really good roster. If America’s Team want to compete for a championship, they must get the offense back on track.
Without a doubt, the Dallas Cowboys have one of the deepest rosters in the NFL. But what separates really good teams from great teams is one thing: coaching. This area, particularly for the offense, needs to be better in 2019 than it was last season.
Earlier this offseason, the Cowboys cut ties with former offensive coordinator, Scott Linehan. Rumors fluttered for days on who Dallas would replace the vacancy with only to be surprised when it was announced that Kellen Moore (former quarterback’s coach) would be the new offensive coordinator.
We can only speculate on how good or bad Moore will be. According to head coach Jason Garrett, the rookie OC is expected to call the plays this season.
If you look at the best offenses in the league, they find high percentage passing plays that take less effort and yields bigger results than running the ball. Whether it’s a quick screen or some short rub routes– the Cowboys need to get the ball in the hands of their stars.
In 11 games with Dallas (including playoff games), wide receiver Amari Cooper was targeted 10 or more times only twice. One of these games came against the Philadelphia Eagles when Cooper went over 200 receiving yards and hauled in three touchdowns.
Cooper is a game breaker and he should not just be a guy on the roster. He deserves around 10 targets a game at the very least. Another way the Cowboys could improve its offense is by morphing its time-consuming philosophy.
Instead of trying to take eight slow minute drives down the field to score, Dallas should have a mix of fast pace and slow grinding tempos. Quarterback Dak Prescott was quite good in two-minute situations with only one tight end, one running back, and three wide receivers on the field.
Having a spread offense forces the defense to show more of their hand pre-snap. Instead of having a condensed box where things get muddled together, the roles of the defenders will be more clear for Prescott.
Also, Prescott will probably run the ball more from these spread out formations. Then after one drive where it is very pass-heavy, the Cowboys can come out and run the ball.
Having versatility will greatly help out the offense. The most important change will have to come in the red zone. Dallas was awful in the red zone last season– they finished 26th in red zone touchdown percentage (51.79 percent), per TeamRankings.com.
However, in the year prior to 2018, the Cowboys were ranked seventh in this area, scoring a touchdown on 59.62 percent of red zone trips. So what changed between these years?
To start 2018, Dallas was without receiver Dez Bryant, tight end Jason Witten and center Travis Frederick. These players were very productive in the red zone so it should not have been surprising that the team would take a dip in efficiency.
Even with a dominant running back in Ezekiel Elliott, running the ball is near impossible without surrounding weapons. According to The Athletic’s Bob Sturm, Elliott was the 34th ranked running back in the red zone in terms of yards per attempt.
If Kellen Moore can force teams to respect receivers like Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb along with Witten, Elliott, and of course Prescott’s arm and legs, the playcalling should open up. And with Frederick most likely returning to the starting lineup, every facet of the offense should be upgraded from last year.
Dallas has a very good defense that can hold their own, but the offense will have to help them out. If the Cowboys can play like a top-10 offense, which is an extremely realistic goal, the team will have a great chance at winning deep into the playoffs.
Do you think Kellen Moore will improve the Dallas Cowboys’ offense in 2019? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below!