PFT 2019 story line No. 24: Will the Cowboys finally take the training wheels off their offense?

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Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has survived in Dallas for more than eight years despite an offense that relies far less on creativity and innovation than it does on physicality and skill of its players. With Garrett entering an up-or-out year in 2019, the question becomes whether the offense will make enough changes to take the team to the next level — and to get Garrett a third contract.

Changes apparently are coming, with 29-year-old (until Friday) Kellen Moore serving as offensive coordinator after only one season as an assistant coach. In May, COO Stephen Jones explained that the goal is to make the offense “a little harder to diagnose when we snap the ball.” Which implies that, previously, it hasn’t been all that hard to spot what the Cowboys will be doing before the ball is snapped.

The way to do that is to use different formations and alignments, along with pre-snap motion and players who are capable of lining up in multiple positions. The return of Jason Witten, the arrival of Randall Cobb, and the 2018 trade for Amari Cooper gives the offense intriguing elements that, fueled by a potent running game and a still-strong offensive line, can make things far more interesting offensively.

Then there’s quarterback Dak Prescott, who seemed to elevate his game in a pair of postseason contests in January, arguably performing more impressively in the loss to the Rams than the win over the Seahawks, because the running game went nowhere in L.A., with Elliott gaining a mere 47 yards on 20 carries. If Dak can continue on that trajectory, taking full advantage of his weapons and of the attention Elliott still commands, the Dallas offense could take it to the proverbial next level, extending Garrett’s tenure, vaulting the team to its first NFC title game since 1995, and helping owner Jerry Jones in his quest to recapture a little of the glory hole.

35 responses to “PFT 2019 story line No. 24: Will the Cowboys finally take the training wheels off their offense?

  1. The Cowboys have a few problems right now… First and foremost is Jason Garrett. Nice guy, but the only reason he’s still the Dallas HC is because he does whatever JJ tells him to do. Since Jones has been calling the shots (we all know that Switzer’s team was still Jimmy’s team) the Cowboys have been pretty useless. Next, is Dak. He’s got a decent completion % and 7.4 YA isn’t bad, but 22 TDs isn’t going to get it done. Elliot’s YPG have gone down every year and he puts the ball on the ground.

  2. Dak didn’t beat out Romo on smarts! He did it by injecting a suddenly physical-mobile game. Which is nice as it is, but QBs like Dak get as far as they do not because they are also uber brainy field generals but because they’re more athlete than thinker and being physical-mobile is the best they got – and it often works well enough in college so they get promoted. Yes you can have both brains and brawn in a QB, but very rarely do to that extent – and Dak doesn’t.

  3. Dak is an above average QB. And have to love the people who think its better to try a very low percentage long bomb with a high chance of interception over a 5-10 yard completion that has a high probability of success.

  4. The Cowboys will have the best offense in the NFC East this season. Wentz can’t stay healthy for the Eagles and Dallas has better skill players/offensive line than any team in the division.

  5. Time will tell on how the offense works in 2019. The D will be improved, but improvements on both sides of the ball will be needed (and most importantly execution of the game plan).

    If Dallas can do this, then they will be competitive. Dak will be just fine. He may never be great, but he is aspiring to to do so, and that is the first step.

    Haters are gonna hate regardless of the outcome of the season for Dallas. If they were to find a way to win the SB, the haters would be even more numerous.

  6. Hard to get a good read on Dak when the offense is so bad. Former Cowboy receivers Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley both said that when a team lines up in the same formations and runs the same plays out of those formations again and again, other teams see that and are easy to defend. But when they told that to former offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, he ignored them. I assume Jason Garrett is part of that ignorance as well

  7. It is evident that Dakota cannot handle more – he cannot beat a pass rush with the pass and runs away easily. He is nearly league worst in passing stats that matter – TD’s from passing. He wins ONLY because of the defense and the running game – he isn’t even a caretaker QB – he’s a gimmick – always will be a running back who thinks he can throw – the worst kind. And mark my word, once he has a leg injury, he will be toast for the rest of his career. We’ve seen his best and it is not remarkable in any way.

  8. Actually, Dak is the only aspect of the offense that has looked like it’s on training wheels. That impacts the rest of the offense, of course, but let’s not be confused about where the problem is.

  9. The Cowboys are very talented and look like they’re a contender for the title. Everything is coming along, and Dak Prescott is one of the top QB’s in the league. He reminds me of Steve Young. Great athlete and great thrower, but it took Young many years before he actually put it all together. Aikman used to take Young to the woodshed. Aikman owned Young in the 4th quarters of those early championship games. Then the 49ers signed Deion Sanders, and that took away all the pressure. The Cowboys don’t have a Deion Sanders, but they have some really good defensive players. I wouldn’t count the Cowboys out. Everybody used to say the same things about Steve Young that many are saying about Prescott. Now Steve has a gold jacket.

  10. I knew Tony Romo – and you Dak, are no Tony Romo. Be interesting to see if GM Jerrah gets himself sucked into paying a mediocre QB $30 meg/yr.

  11. I think it was the ability of the players holding them back, not the coaches. I guess they’ll see what they have, take the training wheels off, and the wheels may fall off!

  12. Cowboys defense will be top tier this year. Offense will be good enough, maybe very good as long as Coach “Clapping Carrot” Garrett stays out of it.

  13. Give Garrett a break not every NFL Coach can chew gum and clap at the same time.

  14. Jerry Jones successfully proved that any coach could have won the Super Bowl with the talent they had in the early 1990s. He also proved that he cannot put together a team that is nearly as talented as that one without something similar to the Herschel Walker trade. Unfortunately, lightning does not strike twice for him. No team has offered anything close to as much talent to him as Minnesota did for Herschel.

  15. charliecharger says:
    June 30, 2019 at 2:38 pm
    The Cowboys are very talented and look like they’re a contender for the title


    What title? Certainly not a SB

  16. Did you really compare dak prescott to steve young? Hahahah! That guy stinks. The definition of over-rated and benefactor of being the QB for the Dallas Cowboys. To the bozo who said the cowboys are better at the skill position than the eagles, how do you figure? Cowboys may have the most talented WR in the division, eagles have the better corp in Jeffrey, DeSean Jackson & agholor. Eagles have the better tight ends. Eagles have better RBs, zeke is best back on the 2 teams but again, eagles are deep at the position. Another 9-7 season on the horizon for the cowboys

  17. wryly1 says:

    June 30, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    I knew Tony Romo – and you Dak, are no Tony Romo. Be interesting to see if GM Jerrah gets himself sucked into paying a mediocre QB $30 meg/yr.


    Why would Dak, or anybody want to be Tony Romo?!?!?

  18. The answer WAS no, as the offense has it previously existed came to an end when the Cowboys parted ways with their offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

    Now the more appropriate worded question is, “will the Cowboys NEW OFFENSE take the training wheels off?” We don’t know how the new offense will look, or perform. They went with the young prodigy in former QB Kellen Moore. He’s never been an offensive coordinator before. This could go very well, or be a terrible disaster. We will see. And considering they’ve yet to make even a pre-season snap under his offense, it’s a bit premature to infer it has training wheels. Or that such proverbial wheels should be removed.

  19. wryly1 says:

    June 30, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    I knew Tony Romo – and you Dak, are no Tony Romo.


    Yeah those 2 postseason wins over the entirety of his career are really impressive

  20. Eaglehaslanded !!!
    “Dink & Dunk Dak”.

    The best ability is availability. Unlike Wentz, Dak hasn’t missed a game, and is going to take a big step forward in 2019 (let’s not forget he was a 4th rd draft pick). Wentz’s ceiling has already been reached, and if he is consistent, he will miss more games yet again as a glass QB.

    But then again, you are an Iggles fan. Logic isn’t part of your repertoire.

    Have fun battling it out for 2nd place in the NFC East

  21. Because Garrett is up against the wind, I think There is hope for a more wide-open offense with the weapons they have. AND I am one of the few that think Prescott was handcuffed by a stone-age conservative offensive CO. I think he will surprise a LOT of people…

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