In 2014, the Cowboys had one of the league’s best offenses behind Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray.
The offensive production dropped sharply in 2015 as the Cowboys finished 31st in the league in points, 22nd in yards and struggled to turn red zone possessions into touchdowns on the way to a 4-12 record. It wasn’t a coincidence that those three players who led the 2014 unit were largely out of the picture.
Murray signed with the Eagles as a free agent, Romo missed 12 games and Bryant was limited by a foot injury when he wasn’t missing seven games. The latter two players are expected back and healthy in 2016, which would explain why offensive coordinator Scott Linehan says the team is focused on better execution rather than major schematic changes this offseason.
“I don’t anticipate anything major [adjustment-wise],” Linehan said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Obviously, we’re working to improve in some areas we fell short, so we’ll do that here in the upcoming months. We really have to get ourselves back to where we really started and where we were in training camp. I think we have to start by everyone looking in the mirror and saying, ‘This is what we’ve got to do individually. Then collectively as a group, and then as a team.’ So it’s pretty cut and dry that way.”
There’s not much question that better health would make a world of difference for the Dallas offense, although 2015’s results also illustrated the need to upgrade the overall depth of the unit because no one can guarantee that Romo, Bryant or anyone else will be in the lineup for 16 games the next time around.