Recap: Excellent DC Times article (film breakdown)

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by fatboygixxer, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. fatboygixxer

    fatboygixxer Active Member

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    At ABC, I published my reaction to the Cowboys’ increased play-action usageversus the Giants:

    Breaking Down the Play-Action

    The most important sentence from the above excerpt is “Defenders play situations, not past rushing efficiency.” The Cowboys have historically run less play-action than anyone in the NFL because they haven’t been able to run the ball. They believed something to be true without researching it—that you need to run to set up play-action—then used that false “knowledge” as a foundation for building their offense.

    When they took the time to study what was going on—and it’s really mind-blowing that it would take them 11 weeks to have someone do that—they realized, hey, maybe we could more frequently utilize this aspect of our play-calling that’s been extremely successful in the past.

    To give you an example of how defenders play situations, let’s take a look at tight end Jason Witten’s first touchdown. On a 1st-and-10 at the Giants’ 20-yard line, the Cowboys lined up in “Gun Tight End Trips Left.”


    Witten was lined up in-line to the field, and the Giants showed a Cover 2 look. The reason that Witten has been successful against New York this year is that the middle of the field—up the seam, in particular—is open with the safeties split out wide. That leaves the linebackers to trail Witten, which is made more difficult when Dallas shows run-action.

    Had no idea we employed play-action so little in comparison to the rest of the NFL on offense, We changed that philosophy on Sunday and the results seem VEEEERRRY promising. Lets hope we stick with it, whether the run game is working or not...
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2013
  2. da_whiz_kid

    da_whiz_kid Well-Known Member

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    The lack of play action has been bugging me this season. Also, we run effectively, WHEN we run. Really the line play has been better this year, hence the lack of turnovers, but the philosophy of the offense this year with improved line play has been a little perplexing. It's like the the way they should have been calling plays, last season. As long as adjustments are made, I think we can be better and real fit to deal with for the remainder of the year.
    BigStar likes this.
  3. RXP

    RXP Well-Known Member

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    Play action only works if you can run effectively. There have been many games where our running game was non-existent this year. The last game was better running he ball. If that continues, you will see more play action.
    visionary likes this.
  4. RXP

    RXP Well-Known Member

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  5. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Not according to the article...
    nickjamesw43 and Corso like this.
  6. TheEnigma

    TheEnigma Anomaly

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    I'd be interested in seeing how much shotgun we run compared to the rest of the league. Play action is more effective from under center.
  7. DuDa

    DuDa Well-Known Member

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    Thats not true at all. You only need to show that you are willing to commit to running it down their throats and the play action will open up. Once the play action is working then you can go back to the run and it will work better because the defense is aware of what your trying to do.

    If done right, play action is very tough to stop. Just look at the zone read in college right now. That is basically a play action offense with a twist and is very hard to stop. Just ask 98% of the teams that play against Oregon.

    It boggles my mind that we are just starting to use this now because play action is the staple of both types of offenses the Cowboys have used in their history, the pro style offense and the Air Coryell (vertical offense).
    da_whiz_kid and Corso like this.
  8. TonyRomo17

    TonyRomo17 Well-Known Member

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    You dont need to run well to run play action, you just have to be able to fake run plays correctly. But running the bal well definitely helps,
  9. OhSnap

    OhSnap Well-Known Member

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    By the end of the game I was seriously wondering if they had invited Jonathan Bales into the game planning. It'd be a shame to have him doin so much good work and writing the articles he does and this team not follow some of it. These guys did some serious adjusting during the bye. Not sayin they listen to him on everything but he's got something to add. Thought I was the only one to notice.
  10. Picksix

    Picksix A Work in Progress

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    Depends on how much/well we run out of shotgun. With all the pistol, read option stuff going on, there's a lot more running and play action from the shotgun. And the TD pass to Witten on Sunday was just such a play.
  11. Idgit

    Idgit If you food, you gonna be ate. Staff Member

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    One of the things I don't like about this offense is that they don't use play action more. And, as has been said above, you don't need to be a running team to take advantage of it. If the defense thinks you're going to run, they're going to defend it and play action is effective.

    I aggree @OhSnap, that they made some offensive adjustments during the bye week. Listening to Jerry on NFL AM this morning--it was painful, and I wouldn't recommend it--you can tell the way you can always tell with Jerry that he thinks they've latched onto some things offensively. He also alluded last week to some good things we had in store for the Saints that we weren't able to get to. I believe we're going to see a more liberal screen game with Dunbar, and a lot more play action do get the ball to Dez and Witten in the middle of the field going forward. This is nothing revolutionary, and it's something, frankly, I expected from the outset this season, so I can't figure out why it's a secret all of a sudden here in week 12, but it is what it is. Pure supposition on my part as to what the team really does, but Jerry Jones, at least, thinks we're going to be doing something different, for whatever that's worth.
  12. OhSnap

    OhSnap Well-Known Member

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    I wanna latch on to the Dunbar screens. It was an earlier plan but the plan was derailed by a fumble and just good run D. Lotsa crazy flukish things have happened at the worst times and that was one of them. I thought they were just trying it again and Dunbar wrapped up pretty good the other day but he looks awful fragile when he runs it and he might be a homerun gamble. The increase(which was small) in PA and the moving Dez around seemed original though. I'm not sayin they changed the way they attack a game, it's aggressive and has been for awhile but they're trying to throw in a wrinkle here and there. It's one of those things where they look stupid if it don't work and look great if it does. I'm bias but I was impressed with week one and last week and I hope the fresh game planning keeps coming. I was impressed with the Broncos game too which I think set them back because they shoed everything they had then tried to dial it back. As for Jerry being impressed with something different going forward I don;t think it's different from Stephen sayin they got the secret sauce. Part show part optimism. LOL
    BigStar likes this.
  13. cowboys2233

    cowboys2233 Well-Known Member

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  14. Bigdog24

    Bigdog24 Well-Known Member

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    When I watch this offense it makes me think as if its based upon what they CAN't do instead of the what the CAN do..... this... take what the defense gives you is a common excuse for underachieving.
  15. Idgit

    Idgit If you food, you gonna be ate. Staff Member

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    Just because it was the same old meandering Jerry that talks around the questions and doesn't make any sense. For example, they asked him whether or not Tony Romo is treated unfairly by the press, and he talked for two minutes on how they were allowing him to have more control over calling plays. That sort of thing. I just find him annoying to listen to.
    That said, you can usually tell when he's excited about something, and he seemed excited about whatever understanding he has of the changes on offense after the bye week.
  16. cowboys2233

    cowboys2233 Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha. It would be interesting to see a side by side comparison of an interview with Jerry today versus one with Jerry a few years ago. Just curious if he really is making less sense now (I think he is) or if he always went off on these tangents and we're just noticing them more now because we're less willing than ever before to give him leeway.
  17. Idgit

    Idgit If you food, you gonna be ate. Staff Member

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    He never was able to answer a question logically. I don't say that as a slam on him, I just don't think that's they way his mind makes connections. But, yeah, he's painful to listen to.
    Personally, I think he's a lot less sharp in recent interviews and that age is really catching up to him.

    On a related note, Charlotte Jones Anderson's eye makeup made her look like a freaky cyborg in that same interview. It was literally disorienting and I couldn't pay attention to anything she was saying about the Salvation Army.
  18. BigStar

    BigStar Stop chasing

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    I used to believe that running successfully was necessary for PA to be successful but they posted a statistic, I believe it was during the Aints game showing how successful Brees is with PA even without running, yet alone even successfully. Just the physical action of the QB ducking and "faking" the hand off seems to have an effect either way. I found that really surprising tbh. I am sure that running successfully definitely improves shots down field, like with the old Dallas and Redskin Offenses in the 90s and general passing as well. Just the act seems to have a positive effect by itself, probably moreso under center as with Brees.

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