The game against the Broncos last year proved to be the blueprint on how to beat the Cowboys. What can the Cowboys do on offense to scheme against exotic blitzing teams? — Johnny P / Fayetteville, NC
Nick Eatman: I feel like the answer to every question is always "run the ball better." If the Cowboys can figure out a way to be the aggressor and run the football more efficiently, it will do a couple of things. For one, it keeps them out of a lot passing situations that will limit the opposing blitzes. It'll also make teams more susceptible to giving up big runs. If you blitz, get gashed and create an opening running lane, it'll be a huge run for a guy like Pollard, and even Zeke. In that loss to Denver, the Cowboys had just two runs over 10+ yards, and it was an 11-yard run and a 10-yard run. Before that game, they were averaging nearly five 10+ runs per game. So it has to start with a running attack that will make them more balanced, and also limit the blitzing.
Kyle Youmans Building confidence on the offensive line and establishing a truly dangerous run game are crucial to offset these defensive looks. Following that Broncos game, teams adjusted to the aggressive tendencies and pass-happy play calling of Kellen Moore by introducing coverage-heavy shell schemes in the secondary and heavy blitz packages. Basically, they allowed for Dallas to have an easier time finding receivers underneath by loading the deeper part of the defensive backfield. Offenses can exploit such defenses by completing short passes or running the ball effectively. Dallas struggled to do either because of a patch-work offensive line for much of the year and a banged-up backfield as well.