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Point: If Final Vikings Drive Is Indication, Balance Not Needed
The common buzz word you hear weekly from Jason Garrett when talking about his offense is “Balance”. Garrett believes in balance, but rarely do you see this team actually show it. Even when this team has success running the ball, this coaching staff still relies on what the strength of it, the quarterback and its skill players.
If you really look at how this Cowboys offense is currently built, it’s not to run the ball, but pass it. Jason Garrett and Bill Callahan can say all they want about their desire to run the ball but the bottom line is that this team does a much better job of putting pressure on defenses and moving the ball by just throwing it than they do trying to show balance. Throwing the ball to Cole Beasley one-on-one against a 3rd corner for eight yards is better than handing it to DeMarco Murray for a gain of three. There are more big plays with this offense, throwing the ball to Dez Bryant or Terrance Williams than there are by handing the ball off.
What we have seen through nine games this season, is that this offensive line has done a much better job of providing protection in the passing game than they have been as run blockers and that was even with Brian Waters in the lineup. It’s a fact that Jason Witten is a much better down field player catching the ball than he is as a run blocker and the same can be said about James Hanna. When Dwayne Harris is one of your better point of attack blockers, that should tell you a lot of where you are, when it comes to running the ball.
Can you or should you pin the lack of a running game on these backs? No, you shouldn’t because there have been times where they have not even had an opportunity to even get started with the ball in their hands. There have been plays that just have not been executed well. I understand why Callahan has to go away from the run, because as Garrett puts it, find other ways to move the ball.
We should not fool ourselves here in regards to this Cowboys running game. The best way for this offense to have success is throwing the ball, which both Garrett and Callahan know. I am willing to buy into a lack of a running game, if this offense can play the majority of the game in “11” or “01” personnel and just attack defenses all day like they did in that final drive against the Vikings. I have faith in Tony Romo and these skill players to make plays as the protection holds up because as a unit, they create plenty of matchup problems for defensive coordinators to have to deal with when they go with this type of scheme.
Jason Garrett has to weigh what gives his team the best chance to win games and in my view, it’s scoring points by throwing the ball. I am not saying to totally give up running the ball during a game but I am saying that as a coaching staff you have to do what you can do best and that’s throw the ball. To have so called balance, means you have to be able to both run and pass well and with this team, that is big issue.
Just a thought, the last five winning Super Bowl teams were ranked 11th, 32nd, 24th, 6th and 23rd when it came to running the ball, but were also ranked 10th, 9th, 10th, 1st and 20th in scoring. Passing leads to points and with the condition of this defense, the Cowboys are going to need all the points they can get.