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Jason Garrett: We’d like to be more balanced offensively

DeMarco Murray, Mark Herzlick AP

One of the subplots that got us through some of the quietest moments of the football offseason was the Cowboys’ decision to replace head coach Jason Garrett as their offensive play caller.

Bill Callahan took over the job after an extended dance between Garrett and owner Jerry Jones about whether or not there would be a change in who told Tony Romo what to run. Unsurprisingly, the man who signs the checks won the battle and Garrett ceded control of the responsibility.

Sunday night was the first regular season game under the new arrangement and the Cowboys called 51 pass plays against 21 running plays, which looked a lot like some of the game plans that got Garrett criticized when he was making the calls. It was actually slightly more pass-happy than Garrett’s days, the Cowboys ran the ball 34 percent of the time last season as opposed to 29 percent against the Giants, and Garrett sounded like some of his old critics when discussing what he’d like to see in the future.

“We’d like to be more balanced,” Garrett said, via Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com. “I thought Bill did a really good job in the ballgame calling plays and giving us a chance to move the football, but we would like to be a more balanced football team. At the end of the day it’s not about, ‘OK we get a stat sheet and you want it to be 30 runs, 30 passes.’ That’s not how we look at it. We want to be able to run the ball more and more effectively, particularly at the end of the game when we’re up a couple scores. We need to be able to hand the ball to DeMarco Murray and run the game out. We didn’t do that as well as we need to and we’ll continue to work on being better at that.”

Murray finished the night with 86 yards on 20 carries, four more than he averaged last season, and gained 32 yards on five carries in the fourth quarter, so it isn’t like they couldn’t get anything working in the run game. Ultimately, that’s what really matters. In a perfect world, you’d have exact balance and everything works but it does you no good to force a more even split if it comes at the overall effectiveness of the offense.

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12 Responses to “Jason Garrett: We’d like to be more balanced offensively”
  1. raiderufan says: Sep 11, 2013 7:17 AM

    I don’t know why anyone would be surprised that when Bill Callahan gets ahold of an offense they start throwing like crazy?

    In 2002 Gannon threw it an average of 39 times a game. Now that’s 2002…Before all this spread em out stuff started. He did that with aging but affective Jerry Rice and Tim Brown as his #1 and #2 and Doug Jolley at TE. He could so easily have relied on Wheatley and Garner…and did! Or we would have thrown 70 times a game. Ask the Steelers from that year…

    Then his next chance he takes over a recruited for 20 years as a triple option ball club Nebraska team and tries to throw it all over the yard…setting Nebraska back years…

    And now after years of no one letting him near the play calling he gets another chance and what happens first game?! “Throw the ball around the yard! They’ll never see it coming!”

  2. floratiotime says: Sep 11, 2013 7:22 AM

    Don’t do too much bragging. You won’t get 6 turnovers every week. And you still barely won.

  3. ccjcsr says: Sep 11, 2013 8:42 AM

    Should have put a 50 spot on the Giants with all those turnovers!

    #CowboyNation

  4. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Sep 11, 2013 9:54 AM

    Late in the game Dallas had a series where they had Romo drop back every time and he was sacked. They ended up burning little time and punting it to the Giants with plenty of time left. That’s when Carr intercepted Manning for a pick 6.

    Dallas must run the ball late in the game with the lead. The less Romo passes the better. Just sayin’.

  5. nananatman says: Sep 11, 2013 9:59 AM

    We’d like to be able to crush the next team that gives us the ball 6 times instead of praying with a voodoo priest for a victory.

  6. footballhistorian says: Sep 11, 2013 10:13 AM

    There’s a good reason Dallas doesn’t run more often…A POOR OFFENSIVE LINE!!! They can’t run-block…or pass block…or ANY kind of block! The O-line is poor because Jerruh has NO ability to staff an O-line…or secondary…or D line…he should stick to fantasy football…

  7. Grulks says: Sep 11, 2013 11:09 AM

    footballhistorian said:

    There’s a good reason Dallas doesn’t run more often…A POOR OFFENSIVE LINE!!! They can’t run-block…or pass block…or ANY kind of block! The O-line is poor because Jerruh has NO ability to staff an O-line…or secondary…or D line…he should stick to fantasy football…

    \

    You mean the Dline and secondary that had 6 takeaways, and two TD’s?

    Please try and think before you speak/post.

  8. jsrdc says: Sep 11, 2013 11:11 AM

    @floratiotime

    I don’t care if the Cowboys won by one point – the operative word here is WON. All you haters need to take a day off. Last time I checked, 1-0 is 1-0, and “barely” has no bearing on your record. Dallas scored 22 points off of 6 turnovers, but the haters would have still downplayed it if they had scored 42 points off of turnovers. Time to get a life, haters.

    What should be the focus of discussion is 6 turnovers by the Giants, but the haters choose to only cherry-pick a win and say the Cowboys won by “only” 5 points. This is pathetic.

  9. jsrdc says: Sep 11, 2013 11:28 AM

    @ footballhistorian.

    “There’s a good reason Dallas doesn’t run more often…A POOR OFFENSIVE LINE!!! They can’t run-block…or pass block…or ANY kind of block! The O-line is poor because Jerruh has NO ability to staff an O-line…or secondary…or D line…he should stick to fantasy football…”

    Really? Funny because Demarco Murry averaged over 4 yards per carry (run blocking), and Romo got sacked only twice by a very solid pass rush (pass blocking). Jason Pierre-Paul was manhandled by Tyron Smith basically all night. Justin Tuck had a whole 1/2 sack. Pierre-Paul had one whole sack. Yes, the Line couldn’t pass or run block. What hater universe were you in when you were watching this game?

    The only bum on the O-line in that game for Dallas was Bernadeau, and he will be riding the pine from week 2 on because Waters is taking his job. Everybody else played very well, and it showed in the stats.

    Try again, but please, please, please, try harder next time……

  10. mikejsmith32 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:44 AM

    I think there are logical reasons why the Cowboys passed more.

    I think Callahan’s game plan was to throw at the Giants’ banged-up secondary. That seems like it would be more productive than trying to run on Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka and Jason Pierre-Paul.

    I also think that Tony Romo probably checked out of called runs because he saw something that indicated passes would be better.

    With that said, I do worry that Romo will call passes simply because he wants to go for the knockout punch, rather than taking what the D gives him. Time should tell.

  11. jsrdc says: Sep 11, 2013 12:43 PM

    @mikesjsmith32,

    I agree with everything you said except for your last paragraph. Romo did take the D gave him all night against NY. He has the luxury to change it up and call audibles based on what he sees. This will be the case from here on out. Will he take some chances? Yes, but all QB’s do looking for that knockout punch. With higher risk comes higher reward. but there is also the downside from that, and that is what the haters always point at with Romo. It is undeserving, but it is what it is in this crazy and egotistical sports world we enjoy. The QB position in Dallas simply has a brighter spotlight on it than any other team.

    I believe Romo’s decision making will be mostly spot-on this season, but he is going to make mistakes like any other QB. Romo has the green light to change up the offensive plays this season based on what he is seeing from the defense Defenses will always step it up on certain plays, and turnovers are going to happen – this is football. Having said that, I believe Romo’s mistakes and interceptions will be much lower this year.

    Mistakes shouldn’t be the focus of Romo’s game, but the haters don’t care. They are blind to his successes and overanalytical of his failures. Let’s not forget he is an UDFA, but is in very elite company with some of his passing stats. As long as the O-line plays well this season, so will Romo and the Cowboys. Sorry to disappoint the haters, but the Cowboys will be extremely competitive and their record will ultimately be better than their last two 8-8 seasons.

  12. lonskils says: Sep 11, 2013 1:35 PM

    People forget that last year the Giants got 5 off of Dallas and only won, because Dez’s pinky was out of bounds when he landed for a TD completion. I don’t recall any of you questioning the Giants ability last year nor their offense for not racking up 50 on the Cowboys then.

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