News: BTB: In The Film Room: How To Maximize James Hanna's Impact

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by NewsBot, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot New Member

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    Over the last several years the Dallas Cowboys offensive coaching staff has not always done a great job of getting their secondary weapons involved in ways that increase their chances at changing the game. Let's take a look at how they made use of James Hanna once in 2013, and why it fit this player so well.

    There is a common theme around BTB, and the rest of Cowboys Nation, that the Cowboys coaches have struggled, especially in recent years, to use their players in ways that maximize their talents. This is especially true for the secondary-type players, guys like Lance Dunbar, Gavin Escobar, and James Hanna,

    However, in one flash of brilliance in Week 9 of the 2013 season, the Cowboys ran the exact concept that I feel maximizes James Hanna's skill set, and put him in a position to succeed. The result? A 21-yard explosive play putting the team in position to score.

    Let's go to the tape...

    Down & Distance: 1st & 10 @ MIN 44

    Quarter/Time Remaining: 2nd/ 9:25

    Offensive Personnel/Formation: 12 (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR)/ Single Back Double Wing

    Defensive Personnel/Call: Base/Over Fire Zone (Field)


    Above we see the alignment and assignment of both the offensive and defensive players on this particular play. This is following Hanna's motion across the formation from a Wing alignment on the right side. Dallas is running a play-action concept built off of the Split-Zone running scheme that is a base component of their run game. Minnesota is bringing the middle and strong side linebackers on a Fire Zone (5 Man Pressure with Zone Coverage) dropping the left defensive end into the basic Cover 3 shell.

    The boot action by Tony Romo and the combination of the routes run by Dez Bryant (top), Jason Witten, and James Hanna are designed to create vertical stretches on the defense.


    At this point, we can see the fake taking place in the backfield between DeMarco Murray and Romo, and we see Jason Witten crossing the formation just as he would on the split zone run. We can also see the 3-deep 3-under coverage look from Minnesota developing.


    As the play continues to develops we see the match up developing as the weak side LB who has the short middle zone has turned to find the crosser.

    Continue reading...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2014
  2. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    Nice change of pace article focusing on somebody that's not a recent draft pick or one of the star players..
    rockj7 and justbob like this.
  3. daveferr33

    daveferr33 Well-Known Member

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    I would love to see Escobar and Hanna step up big time this season. After all the investments this team has made in the position, it would be nice to actually have a succession plan (for Witten) in place.
    BigStar likes this.
  4. Denim Chicken

    Denim Chicken Well-Known Member

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    I approve this message.

    Hanna has been my pet cat for a while.
  5. CyberB0b

    CyberB0b Village Idiot

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    Will he even make the team this year? He isn't a great blocker, and isn't a great pass catcher. Escobar is clearly slotted to be the pass-catching tight end of the future. We need a blocking tight end at the #3 spot.
  6. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    If they're loading up OL, as it looks like they are, maybe the need for a blocking TE isn't as strong as it once was. And tbh, I'm not sure we (fans) really know what Hanna can do. He hasn't been given many opportunities to shine.
    DCBoysfan, rwill784, Vanilla2 and 2 others like this.
  7. Doc50

    Doc50 Original Fan

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    He has great speed for a guy that big, and good hands and awareness as evidenced by his productivity at OU. With the added protection and time to read D, Tony ought to be able to spread the ball around. Couple that with a more formidable running game, and we should be able to constantly keep any D off balance. I think our diversity on O will be our strength.
  8. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    They carried a 4th TE at the beginning of last season that was physically a better blocker than the top 3 guys but they didn't use him and eventually cut him.

    Physically, Hanna sometimes struggled as a blocker, but I think they liked that he usually knew who to block and was "good enough" on many plays.
  9. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    I think Hanna is a largely untapped resource for this team. He has very good team speed and there is no reason why he could not be our version of Gronkowsi/Hernandez ..... without the murder charges, of course.
    ringmaster likes this.
  10. CyberB0b

    CyberB0b Village Idiot

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    His hands and blocking are inferior compared to those guys. If he can develop his hands, he could be a weapon, because he has good speed.
    BigStar likes this.
  11. conner01

    conner01 Well-Known Member

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    we want to run more this year. we want to get escobar more involved. we want to feature dez more, all those things take plays away form other players. lets face it the 3rd te is not gonna be a big part of the game plan each week and is not going to put up many numbers. you have dez and the other outside guys, you have witten and the backs and you have escobar. there are only so many balls to go around
  12. BigStar

    BigStar Stop chasing

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    Which is why it was even more odd that Escobar was taken last season. Basically delegated Hanna to the blocking TE/H-Back duty and his progression/opportunities dried up. Again, don't draft or prioritize (3 2nd rounders) while already possessing a HOF TE with no intention of implementing them in your game plan.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  13. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Frankly he should be able to outproduce Escobar and he is a deep threat that Escobar will never be.
  14. BigStar

    BigStar Stop chasing

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    Coaching staff: "Hey, we're working here..."

    Wolfpack likes this.
  15. SilverStarCowboy

    SilverStarCowboy The Actualist

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    If both could catch on early by mid-season the Offense opens up wide for Dez, Witten and Murray like Rocky Balboas right eye.

    daveferr33 likes this.
  16. noshame

    noshame I'm not dead yet...... Zone Supporter

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    Anybody notice whats going on to the left side of the field?
  17. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    I do think that one of the largest pitfalls of this coaching regime, is that they seem to have a really hard time maximizing the use of offensive players. Romo and Witten maximize each other, but other than that, nothing has been consistent.
    Chocolate Lab likes this.
  18. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    Yea, hard to judge from stills but that looks like a TD if Romo makes it there. I think Romo went to the shorter reads in anticipation of pressure since they were bringing five, but that looks like a great pocket. Romo does end up rolling right though, not sure it would have been a smart move to fling it to the opposite side.
  19. noshame

    noshame I'm not dead yet...... Zone Supporter

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    True, but he could have given it a look since pre-snap he new the WR had one man to beat.
  20. Oh_Canada

    Oh_Canada Well-Known Member

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    Easily the most under-utilized weapon in the offense.

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