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Mailbag: Aggressive offense key to success?


Is it fair to say the recent success on offense is a product of going back to what has worked in recent years? Being aggressive down the field rather than focusing on ball control that saw more rushes and short passes? – Glenn P./Southbury, CT

Nick Eatman: I think the success of the offense starts with the offensive line. And that is something you can say has always been the case with this team and probably most football teams. The offensive line is playing a lot better and it begins with Tyron Smith, but Tyler Smith is also playing at a Pro Bowl level. This O-line is keeping Dak upright and giving him time to find his playmakers, which of course, starts with CeeDee Lamb. Since CeeDee asked for the football, the Cowboys have made a point to get him the ball, but still managing to get players like Cooks, Ferguson, Pollard and others the ball. Mike McCarthy has figured out his personnel and how to call plays to get everyone in the mix, but led by Lamb. I think it's just a natural process of evolving this offense to hit on all cylinders.

Patrik: I think it's a bit more complex than that. This isn't Mike McCarthy simply saying "scrap the changes" as much as it's his comfort level having increased as a play-caller that relies as much on analytics (more than ever before) as much as his own eyes and gut. You can see it in his play-calling and in how the Cowboys, who were once allergic to pre-snap motion, are now a top-2 team in that category over the past several weeks. It's allowing Dallas to scheme favorable matchups before Dak Prescott calls for the ball and, from there, it's all about Prescott himself being supremely comfortable and willing to use his legs to keep defenses off-balance and, you've heard me say this a lot this season: execute, execute, execute. The biggest difference between now and then is execution (third-down, red zone) and it feels as if it's all come together, and at the right time, because the run to the playoffs and seeding is now underway. Oh, and they're attacking deep down the middle of the field again, which to me is the only thing that has re-emerged that worked in the past, last season notwithstanding.

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