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Mailbag: Building on the Offensive Play-Calling?


Recently, Emmitt Smith said that with the previous offense there was no rhythm to the play-calling and that the Cowboys weren't building on anything. Emmitt said, "There was nothing that established this that made sense to play off of that." Can you explain more what he meant? I remember Norv Turner's play calling. He was always setting up the next play. Do you agree? And will we see that again with Mike McCarthy calling plays now? – Mark Nitroy/Lancaster, PA

Nick: Play-calling is like playing pool. The best ones know how to play 2-3 shots ahead, or in this case, two or three plays. But it's easier said than done, because you do have to make the shot to keep going. Same with play-calling, having a rhythm is nice, but you better have some success on the first play. And that's the ironic part about Emmitt making those statements. He played on a team that could pretty much get 2-3 yards every time they wanted to, because of their ability to run the ball with him and behind that line. They had "bread-and-butter" plays that we don't really see with the Cowboys right now. But yes, you can set up one play with another. And I think Kellen actually did a decent job of that. But ultimately, now we'll see what Mike can do.

Mickey: First of all, I think there is a lot of piling on Kellen Moore. Secondly, not sure I'm following Emmitt, and not sure he's analyzing what's going on in games more so than what he sees on TV. And I understand the 19-12 playoff loss to San Francisco seems to be clouding everything that took place the entire regular season. If that generalization is accurate, then how in the world did the Cowboys pile up 31 points in the first-round playoff win over Tampa Bay. How in the world did they win four of five games with Cooper Rush at quarterback. How in the world did the Cowboys average 36 points in those nine consecutive games after Dak returned from hand surgery, beginning with 49 points against the Bears and scoring 27 in the road win over Tennessee. Plus, while going 8-2 over those first 10 games after Dak returned, in those two overtime losses during that span the Cowboys did score 28 on the road against the Packers and 34 at Jacksonville, reasonably enough points to have won both games in regulation. The hope going forward would be cutting down on Dak's interceptions and again as they did in 2022 at least averaging 27.47 points a game, ranking fourth in the NFL.

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