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Mailbag: Best way for McCarthy to use speed?


With guys on the roster now like Brandin Cooks, KaVontae Turpin and Deuce Vaughn, Dallas has legitimate blazing speed. What is the best way Mike McCarthy can use that speed to keep defenses off balance and help Dak Prescott score points? Is there more to it than just throwing deep? – Margo English/Falls Church, VA

Patrik: There's so much more to it than throwing deep, although that's a big part of the equation as well. It's key to note the difference between speed and quickness as well, with the three players you named having both of those traits in spades. My point is that while speed will take the top off of opposing defenses, it's quickness that ultimately lends to death by a thousand cuts. So when you see Cooks, Turpin and Vaughn being utilized, believe it will often be via versatility that gets them in one-on-one matchups and in space at the first and second level — where the quickness can create evasiveness that dodges would-be tacklers, and then the speed gets turned on to run away from the bunch. Screens, quick outs, quick ins, slants, etc. will be a strong piece of the pie for those guys going forward … along with the occasional go route.

Nick Harris: While being able to throw deep is certainly an advantage of having the type of speed that Dallas has on the offense right now, that quickness and elusiveness has the ability to be utilized just as much in the short to intermediate pass game. Incorporating quick slants, screens and even end arounds provide just as much of a big play opportunity as airing it out downfield — considering the hit rate is a lot lower past 20 yards. I think the best way that Dallas can get the speed going is to get the ball in their hands in space and watch them operate. Whether if that's a tunnel screen to Brandin Cooks, an end around to KaVontae Turpin or getting the ball in Deuce Vaughn's hands, there are a multitude of options for how to best utilize those weapons.

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