Dallas Cowboys vs. Kansas City Chiefs: The bad
All year long, as the Cowboys offense has ascended to the top of the league, putting up both points and yards in video-game style, one man has been getting a lot of attention.
In his third year as the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore is becoming a star.
Week after week, announcers tasked with working Dallas games cannot wait to anoint Moore as a surefire head coach in 2022. While that will likely come to fruition, it may also be a little premature.
In two of the last three weeks, his offense has been manhandled by teams that had no business doing that to Dallas. Denver had just traded its all-time best defensive player, EDGE Von Miller, three days prior to the game, and Kansas City’s defense has struggled all season.
Some of these struggles have been self-inflicted, especially this week. Coming into a game, down a starting receiver and losing another starter midway through, Moore refused to even consider the running game. While the Cowboys desperately needed some physicality, Moore never allowed his offense to impose their will and instead, chose to be passive.
At no point in this game did Dallas run the ball on back-to-back plays. The Cowboys passed the ball almost three more times to every rush in a game that was never outside of two scores.
There is a nuance to running the ball. If you elect to run the ball and are unsuccessful one time, you cannot just eliminate it as an option moving forward. Running the ball requires rhythm. Without consistent opportunities to do so, it’s hard to become successful.
It also sets a tone for your offensive line. Constantly giving up ground and regressing to pass block sets a mentality. Allowing your line to impose their will does so as well. Neglecting the rushing attack also essentially took the Cowboys’ most physical player, running back Ezekiel Elliott, out of the game.
Moving forward, this cannot be the game plan. There was no excuse for the game to play out in this way. If the Cowboys are to reach the heights they feel like they should, the balance needs to be part of the offense.