The Dallas Cowboys offense could not do anything against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1. Whether you want to point fingers at the weak offensive line, the lack of experienced wide receivers, Dak Prescott’s play, or anything else, the reality is that nothing was working.
While Mike McCarthy and Jerry Jones certainly deserve blame, it seems like not enough people are upset about the lack of a game plan (yet again) or adjustment-making from offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. The trick plays were horrific. Ezekiel Elliott finally looked good again and they barely used him. The pass plays were very short ones that often didn’t work.
What’s even more ridiculous is that Tampa Bay was able to use tape from their 2021 Week 1 contest with the Cowboys to be able to figure out pretty much exactly what to expect from this offense.
After the game, Bucs LB Devin White was asked how they were able to contain the Cowboys so well. Here was his answer:
"“I think just great preparation. This time going into the game, already having film against them against us. We know how they like to attack us. So I think we was able to put together a better game plan than last year. We learned that they wasn’t really going to commit to the run game. And, you know, the runs that they did, they was going to try to get outside and not run to the interior. But most of the running game was quick game. A lot of curls. A lot of hitches. A lot of slants and stuff. We knew that going in so we was able to attack it.”"
Devin White said Tampa Bay was able to predict and prepare for the Cowboys’ game plan based on last year’s game
How does Moore not have a better plan 365 days later? How does McCarthy not come in as the head coach and help make adjustments?
White (who led the Buccaneers defense with seven solo tackles, two sacks, and two tackles for loss) is essentially saying they knew Prescott wasn’t going to go deep. They knew the run game would be short bursts. And, they pretty much expected the Cowboys not to adjust and be predictable. We are talking about game film from 365 days ago, not tape from this season. Tampa Bay knew that Dallas didn’t trust their offensive line against the Bucs DL.
This really puts Moore’s lack of creativity and ability to put together an expansive playbook together on blast. People complained about Moore’s refusal to adjust last season and it doesn’t seem like much has changed. This team can’t expect to get anywhere with a predictable and expired game plan.