Cowboys need more balance in their offense

Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Cowboys fans have many reasons to feel good about Thursday night’s opener. There’s one reason for concern, however.

The Cowboys threw the ball way too much. Fifty-eight passes, against 18 runs. That’s more than 75 percent of the time throwing.

Quarterback Dan Prescott looked great. He looked better than ever. But it’s hard to imagine him or anyone else putting in that kind of effort 16 more times.

“We got — it’s easy to say, but as you know, to establish a passing game against a big time front, and they’ve got it,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan. “The Bucs have a big time defensive front. You got to go against that wall and you got to have a lot of one-yard runs that when you got a quarterback and you can make a play like that we’re able to make in the passing game, that’s going to be a challenge because you got to wear them down with that running game. It just didn’t go that way, but that’s the anecdote. The running game takes early patience.”

Like many things Jerry says, it takes a little effort to discern the point. Arguably, he’s acknowledging that the Cowboys didn’t have “early patience” with the running game. Whether that was the plan or whether it just happened isn’t known.

On their first drive of the game, the Cowboys went pass, run (four yards), pass, run (two yards), run (four yards), pass, pass, pass, pass, punt. The next time the Cowboys got the ball, the Bucs had just scored a touchdown. That’s when the running game went out the window, with seven straight passes that culminated in a touchdown.

Although the Cowboys passed the ball very well, they need more balance in their offense. Every team needs balance in the offense. Ideally, every offense needs to be so balanced that, on any given play, the defense doesn’t know what’s coming.

Yes, certain circumstances will scream out “pass.” In situations like first and 10 or second and seven or third and five, the most balanced offenses are in the best position to keep the defense guessing. For the Tampa Bay defense on Thursday night, there wasn’t a lot of guessing to be done.

9 responses to “Cowboys need more balance in their offense

  1. I respectfully disagree. I have always despised the cowboys and doubled down when Jones took over. BUT They were more than competitive on the road against a loaded team with the greatest player ever. They could have easily won. I Hate it but they are a playoff team and when the opposition calls for it they will be able to run.

  2. probably due to the circumstances of the game flow, both teams in reality were hard pressed to mount any type of run game, TB also 50 passes, both teams were having success in the air so why change? just the way that game was dictated, no point in trying to force a square peg in a round hole, I expect Dallas to get closer to a better mix but then again if your passing game is clicking and that’s what it take’s to keep the game competitive, then throw that rock

  3. NFL football is not about keeping games competitive. It is about Ws and Ls. The Cowboys didn’t gain a damned thing. They Lost. Call it the Mike McCarthy effect.

  4. Tampa was even more unbalanced: 14 runs and 50 passes. Winning and losing in this game did not go to the team with the more balanced attack. It went to the team with the QB who performed better when it mattered most. Prescott needed 1 more completion to keep the ball out of Brady’s hands. Prescott didn’t get the job done in crunch time; Brady did.

  5. Elliot isnt going to stay a Cowboy for long, so might as well saddle him up and let em run at least 30 carries and six catches per game.

  6. And the Bucs threw it 78% of their plays. So they need better balance as well?
    This game turned into a pass happy contest – more and more common in the NFL with the rules these days. But you still get the occasional game where both sides try to grind it out and not make a mistake in the passing game – had a Super Bowl like that just a couple of years ago.
    Game strategy evolves as each contest goes along. Both teams make adjustments they think gives them the better chance at winning. Frankly, I thought Dallas caught the Bucs napping on Dak’s passing game which kept it close.

  7. Well, why should they? they were playing against the number one run defense and that defense at some point were playing with three substitutes at the db position, why should they run when all they had to do was looking where Tampa’s number 35 was and throwing again him?.

  8. How soon everyone forgets McCarthy’s history in GB.

    Hated to run the ball. Would give good lip service to running the ball – complain about pad level and just not do it. Wouldn’t even put a back in the game on short yardage to hint at a run.

    3rd and 2 – let’s go 5 wide…

    Its who McCarthy is

  9. This is just nonsense. Some games require more passes, some more runs. It more or less evens out over time. The problem the Cowboys have is in the front office. The front office doesn’t have any respect for the defensive side of the ball. So Dallas, once famed with Doomsday, will never be competitive until they stop drafting/using high draft picks for receivers and get DTs and edge players that can impact the other teams offensive line.

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