Skip to main content


Presented by

Mailbag: Using Play Action More Often?


It is widely believed that the Cowboys will run more 11 personnel this season. That being the case, do you think Zeke can trim down a bit and regain some of that explosiveness? And would that allow for Jordan Chunn to make the active roster, to get some goal line opportunities? Using a three-headed backfield with what should be the best WR trio in football? J.M. SMITH / WALDORF, MD

Nick: Well, there's a lot here to go through. For starters, I have no idea what kind of shape any player will be in after this crazy offseason. The hope is that they come back in good condition, but to think he's going to reshape his body and slim down seems far fetched. And on top of that, I don't know if that's such a good idea. Maybe he's not as explosive as his rookie season, but he's still highly productive and I don't think I'm ready to take him off the field for anyone, especially Jordan Chunn. In fact, I know I'm not ready for that. If you have a great WR trio, do you need three backs? I don't think so. So I can't say I really go with you on this point.

Jonny: I think you're probably overstating any decline in explosiveness from Zeke last year. Not to say that he wasn't capable of performing better in certain games, but it really felt like things just sort of unraveled too easily all around for the team last season. I would expect him to be ready to be fully utilized in an offense with so many passing threats, and I think he and Dak are plenty for goal line opportunities. I might be wrong, but I don't see Chunn on the active roster. They don't want to walk away from any game questioning whether Zeke or Tony Pollard should have gotten more carries.

Now with Kellen Moore into his second year as an O.C., can we expect to see more play action on first down? It seems that the play calling was becoming too predictable as the team entered the second half of the season last year. — JONATHON HART / SINKING SPRING, PA

Nick: I would think you will see a lot of variables this year. Yes, it's the second year for Kellen Moore, but I would expect Mike McCarthy to have a big say in the type of play calling the Cowboys use in 2020. McCarthy knows how to run an offense so yes, I would imagine you'll see big changes in the way the game is called. Let's hope so, at least.

Jonny: I could see there being more play action on first down. I don't think they were fundamentally opposed to the idea last season. They just had a great running back and wanted to give him the ball. But early play action is a good step in the direction of making defenses respect just how many weapons you have. This offense has options, and keeping the defense on its toes might be better than "establishing the run."

Related Content