With franchise quarterback Dak Prescott performed for the season and $90 million working again Ezekiel Elliott idling away, frequent logic dictates the Dallas Cowboys will pivot to a heavy, run-first offensive scheme.
Frequent logic can be flawed.
“I feel we nonetheless have to play the identical approach,” coordinator Kellen Moore advised reporters Monday, through the Dallas Morning Information. “We nonetheless have to assault individuals, be aggressive. If individuals give us a chance downfield, we’re going for it.”
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Moore actually employed this mindset after Prescott was misplaced to a fractured and dislocated ankle within the third quarter of Sunday’s victory over the New York Giants. The second-year play-caller dialed up 11 passes for backup QB Andy Dalton, together with a 38-yard strike to Michael Gallup within the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, resulting in a game-winning Greg Zuerlein discipline objective.
This, the arrogance in Dalton, Dallas’ coaches and front-office personnel agree on.
“We’re so lucky to have Andy Dalton,” workforce VP Stephen Jones mentioned Monday on 105.three The Fan. “He’s simply been a pleasure to have because the day he walked within the door. We actually is usually a very aggressive passing soccer workforce. He’s clearly not going to have the mobility that Dak (Prescott) has however, as you noticed yesterday, after we needed to have great throws down the sector (he was in a position to try this). He’s a professional. He’s led his workforce to the playoffs. He’s a winner.”
Dalton completed 9-of-11 for 111 yards in aid of Prescott, who went 14-of-21 for 166 yards and an interception earlier than exiting. Altogether the Cowboys logged 33 passing makes an attempt in comparison with 27 speeding makes an attempt — 19 to Elliott (who recorded 91 yards and two touchdowns), six to RB Tony Pollard, two to Prescott, and one piece to Dalton and WR Amari Cooper.
Coming into Week 6, the Cowboys stay the league’s greatest offense in yards per sport (488.0), buoyed by Dak’s top-ranked aerial assault (381.Four YPG). Conversely, the membership ranks 19th in speeding yards per sport (106.6). Elliott is the game’s seventh-leading rusher, having compiled 364 yards and 5 TDs on 89 totes (4.1 YPC). He’s added 32 catches for 272 yards and one rating whereas fumbling thrice, shedding two.
That is the place Moore and Jones battle; the latter strongly hinted that Elliott — not Dalton — would be the engine that makes the offense go.
“So far as our technique, so far as what sort of offense we’re gonna be. Yesterday epitomized what we wish to be, which is basically near 50-50 run (vs) move,” Jones mentioned of the Giants sport. “Sadly, we’ve simply put ourselves behind the eight-ball in so many video games this yr, particularly within the first 4 that we needed to get away from that (cut up). Yesterday, we have been capable of make 14 factors up in pretty fast order and get again to the place we have been capable of play Cowboy soccer. It’s not at all times going to be good by way of (the cut up), however once you bought a participant like Zeke, you bought to make the most of him. He do you have to yesterday, whether or not he’s catching the ball out of the backfield, whether or not he’s working the soccer, his physicalness is nothing however a constructive and an enormous asset for our soccer workforce.”
The true end result seemingly is someplace within the center. Moore can’t starve Elliott of touches however he can also’t ignore the plethora of pass-catching expertise at Dalton’s disposal.
It’s a effective line to stroll as Dalton is an inarguable downgrade from Dak, and we’ll know Monday evening whether or not it’s accurately toed. The Cowboys’ subsequent opponent, 2-2 Arizona, surrenders the fifth-fewest passing yards per sport (222.4) but, extra exploitable, rank 14th in opposition to the run, permitting 124.2 YPG.
Who Moore appeases, himself or his superiors, may form not solely the primetime NFC showdown however the the rest of Dallas’ 2020 marketing campaign.
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