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Mailbag: How do they fix red-zone troubles?


I wasn't too worried about the red-zone offense after the Jets game, but now after really struggling at the Cardinals, there seems to be a trend growing here. Is it the banged-up offensive line? No power running back? The play-calling? How do they get this fixed?Brad Gillis/Ft. Worth, TX

Nick Harris: The offense has largely been successful driving down the field by utilizing the quick game and getting multiple guys involved both inside and outside the numbers, but those same tendencies can't be used to the same effect inside the 20 with less real estate to operate. Getting everything spread out is crucial to this offense's success, and when you have less room to spread out, it creates an inefficiency. I haven't necessarily disliked the running game in the red zone, and I don't think the banged up offensive line was the biggest catalyst towards the lack of success in the red zone against Arizona, but I do think there could be a little more creativity inside the 20 to get the red zone weapons like CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup involved more.

Mickey: The first fix is to get the starting offensive linemen back on the field. Now the good thing is the Cowboys have reached the red zone 15 times in just three games, most times in the NFL. Yes, they do need to get better but just think there has been extenuating circumstances so far. After scoring touchdowns on three of four red zone possessions in the opener without that power running back, my guess is they pulled back in what they did against the Jets, knowing they had the game in hand and just wanted to make sure they scored points and not show too much of what they could do to future opponents. And in this last game, me thinks play caller Mike McCarthy was playing with a scared hand with three-fifths of his O-Line starters missing and having to adjust their game plans at the last minute. Maybe we get a truer view of what's shakin' down there this Sunday against the Patriots.

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