Sunday marked the end of the dreadful 2017 season for the Dallas Cowboys and the blame game is already in full effect. While the media focuses players like Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant, it needs to be pointed at the outdated schemes their coach runs.
The Cowboys have essentially ran the same offense since 2007, when head coach Jason Garrett started his career here as the offensive coordinator. In the ten years since, the league has drastically changed how football is played, yet the Cowboys offense really hasn’t changed much.
On Wednesday, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant talked to the media about some of the reasons for their failures of 2017 and Bryant did bring up the idea of the offensive schemes being somewhat of a problem for the team.
.@DezBryant to me: 'Doesn’t make sense to say that me, T-Will, Bease & me all ‘declined’ at the same time. Our coaches are smart. So we need to figure out: Are we too predictable? Did DB’s know what was coming? And how do we (counter) that? That’s all.’ pic.twitter.com/xMm5WFzf9w
— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) December 29, 2017
According to Jane Slater of the NFL Network, Cowboys players in the locker room say that the playbook is too predictable. “Opposing teams know where the ball is going,” Slater reported.
Schemes are a big deal in today’s NFL. There is tape on you every week and bringing the same offense in makes your team stale and predictable.
Yet, this isn’t a new concept that just surfaced this year. Former Cowboys receiver Patrick Crayton has said defensive backs would call out their specific routes when they would line up. Crayton said that the response by the coaching staff was to out execute their matchup.
This is the heart of the problem for the Cowboys. They can have all the talent in the world and even on most game days out execute their game plan, but if the other team knows what is coming they will always be at a disadvantage.
The best teams make adjustments and innovations to their schemes year after year. In a league of parity, you can’t just rely on talent alone to win you a football game.
Jason Garrett has done a good job as head coach for this team. He brought in a culture of doing things the right way and it has stuck. The problem is that the coaching staff, Garrett included has been too stubborn to change with the times. They cling to the fact that two seasons of success is enough evidence for them to continue their approach.
The only hope for a breath of fresh air on offense for the Cowboys is if Jerry Jones decides to make the first real change; a new coach and a new scheme for this team.
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