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How The Offense Can Avoid Being Stuck In A Rut?


FRISCO, Texas – If there's one thing that can't be criticized, it's Kellen Moore's sense of humor.

If the first three weeks of his debut season as the Cowboys' offensive coordinator were a glimpse of the highs that a hot shot coach can attain, then these past few days have been a taste of the lows.

The Cowboys struggled to just 257 yards of offense and 10 points on Sunday night in New Orleans, and suddenly the bright young coach from last week has turned into a scapegoat for the struggles.

"Welcome to coaching," Moore said with a laugh on Thursday afternoon.

If anyone can relate to Moore's situation, it's probably his boss. For all the scrutiny on the offensive coordinator and his play calling, there has been plenty of blame tosses at Jason Garrett's feet this week, as many believe the Cowboys' head coach insisted on an inordinately conservative game plan last week in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

"JG gets the heat when we score 10? No. I think we went through the process the exact same way," Moore said. "Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's the NFL, and they've got good players, and they made some really good plays."

This much is true: it assuredly did not work for the Cowboys last week, on virtually any level. Ezekiel Elliott and the rushing game struggled for just 2.3 yards per carry, while Dak Prescott and his receiver corps failed to make much in the way of downfield completions.

"You take the good stuff, you take the bad stuff," Prescott said. "You take the bad stuff, you figure out what you did wrong, clean it up and learn from it. You take the good stuff and ask 'How do we do this again? Or how do we get better from that.'"

Moore clearly agrees, as Prescott said not much has changed about his demeanor in the week following a loss. In the grind of a 17-week season, it wouldn't make much sense to overreact to one game. Moore even seems to have taken a page from Garrett's play book, as he detailed "the process" numerous times while speaking to reporters.

"That's part of the process. You just kind of keep it the same – meetings are the same structure, go over the same stuff," he said. "There's good, there's bad in every game, whether you score 30-something points or you score 10 or whatever."

Earlier in the season, coming off a 35-point performance, Moore said he thought he had the right group of guys to respond to those challenges. With another talented defense coming to town this weekend, they'll have a chance to prove it.

While they prepare for that next opportunity, the Cowboys don't intend to let the week-by-week emotions of the NFL affect their "process."

"Don't let some game cost you the next one and get stuck in the rut of a loss," Moore said. "Go through the process the same way, move on. We're not going 16-0. That's all we found out, and we move on."