There’s hope for a more balanced Cowboys offense under Andy Dalton
The Dallas Cowboys could right their lopsided offense under quarterback Andy0 Dalton
The 2020 NFL regular season has been one of loss for the Dallas Cowboys. That’s due to the team having several key players land on Injured Reserve recently. Notable names like left tackle Tyron Smith, tight end Blake Jarwin, right tackle La’el Collins, cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, center Joe Looney, plus linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee.
And after suffering a severe ankle injury against the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon that required immediate emergency surgery, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will likely soon be added to the growing list of Lost Boys.
But for every lost player, there is another called upon to take his place. In the case of Prescott, the Cowboys have a three-time Pro Bowler ready to step in. Veteran passer Andy Dalton will now start under center for America’s Team after playing his first 10 years in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The soon-to-be 33-year old veteran was able to lead the Cowboys to a 37-34 victory, taking over for the injured Prescott midway through the third quarter. Dalton completed nine of his 11 passes for 111 yards and put Dallas in position to hit a 34-yard game-winning field goal.
But the fact is, Prescott and Dalton are very different quarterbacks. And how second-year offensive coordinator Kellen Moore gameplans for having the latter under center instead will be key to the Cowboys finding success with 11 regular-season games still to be played.
One area that should change for the Cowboys’ offense is an increased focus on the running game behind dynamic backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. Prior to their Week Five matchup against the Giants, Dallas possessed the most lopsided run/pass ratio in the NFL.
According to fftoday.com, the Cowboys passed a whopping 67.7% of the time and only ran the ball 32.3% of their offensive plays through the first four games of the season. That ratio changed significantly against New York on Sunday, with Dallas passing just 33 times (53.2%) and rushing the ball 29 times (46.7%).
The Dallas Cowboys will undoubtedly want to protect their new quarterback under center as much as possible. And the byproduct will be a more balanced offense. Expect the Cowboys to now commit to running the football more, utilizing Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard in an effort to take the pressure off Andy Dalton.