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Mailbag: Big Play Struggles On Players Or Coaching?


Why is it the Cowboys struggle so much with hitting the big plays on offense (other than Dwayne Harris in the return game)? It seems like such a grind for them to get points on the board throughout games. Is it scheme? Personnel? Coaching?

Nick:Speed. I think this team lacks a true dynamic speedster and has for a long time. Murray is not a game-breaking back. Don't tell me about the 91-yarder against the Rams. That was three seasons and five injuries [embedded_ad] ago. He doesn't do that anymore. Dez isn't that type of player either, or at least he really wasn't last year. This team needs a pure speedster who can fly. I think that changes how defenses play other areas when they know there is a home-run hitter out there.  

Rowan: I think it's both personnel and coaching. As Nick mentioned, there's no absolute burner on the outside whose speed scares defenses. I also think the offense, particularly early in the year, dinked and dunked its way down the field, leading to a low yards per attempt for Tony Romo to start the year. They seemed to do better when they at least challenged teams by attempting to throw deep a few times.

Now that the hire is made, what is the message? By hiring a passing coordinator, does it mean the Cowboys are not going to feature the run as they preached but did not do this past year? Where's the balance they speak about now? Please try to answer these questions I am as confused as the coaches and management seem to be!

Nick: And the internet staff. We're all confused, mainly because nothing official has been made yet. We know Scott Linehan is here working, but that's all we know. We don't know what role Bill Callahan will have, if any. If there is a passing game coordinator, I would imagine there will be a running game coordinator, too. And I promise you, Jason Garrett will say the word "balance" 23 times in his next press conference, whenever that is. You have questions, so do we. Hopefully answers are coming soon.

Rowan: The actions would suggest the message is that the passing game will continue to be relied upon, even if "balance" is the word we'll hear. It's somewhat befuddling, and nothing against any of the coaches individually, but I'm not sure adding another voice into the mix while keeping all the other voices still intact is the right answer. It seems like clutter and more confusion would follow with that, particularly considering many questioned which coach was calling plays when there were only two possibilities last year.

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