YR's My Meaningless Thoughts On The Offense...
If there is one good thing about Goodellís tenure as commissioner itís that we have finally seen the All-22 film being made available to the public. It provides such an interesting view to watch football. I think I always understood that, but when you get to watch play-after-play on All-22, you really get to appreciate the angles even more.
Anyway, I have been watching a few different teams on offense and trying to compare them to the Cowboys offense. Is Garrettís play calling the problem? How about Romo? Are our WRís as good as they are supposed to be? Is the O-Line as bad as it is supposed to be?
From what I have watched, the problem with our offense is the same issue that has gone throughout our team for a while. As an organization, we DO find talent. But, we struggle to mesh the right skill sets together. That causes players to play out of position or do things that they are not good at. And what happens is when 1 starter gets injured, now more players start to play out of position or have to do things that they are not good at. That is why I believe the team continually struggles down the stretch each year. It has nothing to do with Ďchokingí or even a Ďlack of talentí or a Ďcountry club atmosphere.í We donít mesh playerís skills together and players look bad because they are doing things that are not their strength. It has also convinced me that this is of utter importance and that if a player like Joe Montana had played in an Oakland Raiders deep ball system, we would have never heard of Joe Montana.
That doesnít let Romo completely off the hook. Heís making more bad plays and bad throws than he should make. And yes, I do believe that there are QBís in the game that could play better with this O-Line and coaching and surrounding talent.
But, itís all for not until the organization figures out how to get the pieces to properly fit into their system. All of the Tom Bradyís and RG3ís in the world would not help the Cowboys if they continue to try and put square pegs into round holes.
From watching All-22, I actually think the pass protection has been pretty decent for the most part. In fact, only a few weeks ago the Cowboys were ranked 2nd in Adjusted Sacks Allowed by FootballOutsiders.com. But from what Iíve seen on film, outside of Doug Free and now Derrick Dockery, the pass protection has been fairly good.
The run blocking is pathetic. And as couchscout mentioned, Felix is actually better at making guys miss when he cuts going full speed. And that encapsulates a big part of the problemÖ.the offenseís design does not fit the talent. The running plays for Felix tend to be slow developing plays, which are not his strength. Instead, he should be running more pitch outs and for the love of all that is holy, sprint draws. But, we donít have enough talent on the O-Line to run pitch plays and for whatever reason, we donít call the sprint draw very often. Donít get me wrong, the O-Line doesnít run block well outside of Tyron (who is now injured). But, we are not doing Felix any favors by using him in a way that does not suit his strengths.
And this is where the problem with the passing offense resides. The pass protection is actually good enough. But, the pass routes take a long time to develop because of their design. Defenses know this, so they send blitzes or have the 4- down linemen go full bore at Romo. By the time the WRís routes start to develop, the rush is getting right on Romo.
Now, for a tall QB who throws overhand like Tom Brady. He could still find the WRís. The other way is to have a QB like Matthew Stafford. His O-Line is no better than Romoís. But, he simply can back up further from the rush and with his super strong arm, fire the ball at the WR with good velocity. Romo canít do either, so he ends up doing one of the following:
1) Missing an open receiver
2) Hitting his check down too early
3) Getting sacked
4) Scrambling away from the pressure and making a play
Is that all Romoís fault? No. But, there are other QBís that would play better on this team. Thatís because they are better suited for this offense. In order for Romo to play well in this offense, the O-Lineís pass protection would have to be elite and Iím not so sure that would quite work as well as we think because we would probably have to have more players in to block and less WRís running routes.
Lastly, the other issue is that we are utilizing Jason Witten very poorly. Heís becoming a 6-yard hot read receiver. Heís most effective running 10-15 yard patterns, owning LBís in pass routes and finding holes in the zone. I think Garrett recognizes that and that is why heís using Beasley more. But itís clear that Witten is the only player that Romo trusts and we end up using him poorly because of that.
The potential good news is that there is some hope in the future, even though Romo is starting to get a little long in the tooth.
I believe that Romo is better suited for a West Coast style of offense. I also think itís something that both Dez and Miles can work in and Witten as well. We already run a zone blocking scheme and I think Romo has the footwork, the release and smarts to pick up the system. Generally, I would be a little leery of going to the new system since it would probably take about 2 years to run well, but I think with the rate the offense is going, it would still be better to switch now. And we have a very good WCO coach in Callahan.
Secondly, I think the other offense that Romo would operate well under is the Sean Payton style of offense. I assume that even though heís not coaching this year, the Saints are still using the same offense. Paytonís offense is a bit of a hybrid between a WCO and a Ernie Zampese style of offense. In fact, I think the Saints struggles this year have more to do with Brees trying to gamble too much and throw it deep along with not enough running of the football (sound familiar?).
If we stick with Garrett, the offense has to change from a schematic standpoint. Otherwise, we are going to see the continued downward decline of Romo and the entire offense. The only way we can have success in Garrettís system is to somehow turn the O-Line into the best in the league in roughly a year or to find a different QB. To me, it would be much easier to change the offense than to try and find a new franchise QB.
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