The Cowboys offense isn’t all the time at peak efficiency, so what occurs after they decelerate deserves a deep dive.
The sport in opposition to the Green Bay Packers is behind us, however there’s nonetheless one thing about what went down that doesn’t sit proper concerning the means of the Dallas Cowboys. It has nothing to do with the failure to exorcise the demons of the one they name Aaron Rodgers who has defeated the Cowboys in eight of his final 9 video games. It has nothing to do with blowing a golden alternative to maneuver nearer to the Philadelphia Eagles for the highest spot within the NFC East. Certain, each of these would’ve been nice.
This ache cuts slightly deeper because it represents one thing we’re all too acquainted with. The Cowboys’ propensity for premature letdowns. It was a letdown within the type of the protection struggling to cease the run and the offense being unable to do sufficient to get the job achieved. It’s the identical motive they misplaced to the San Francisco 49ers final yr within the playoffs, and it’s the identical motive they misplaced to the Los Angeles Rams within the playoffs of 2019. It doesn’t matter how good we predict this workforce is, these two components come again to hang-out us.
There was a whole lot of discuss concerning the difficulties the protection has had in stopping the run, however one thing that’s kicked apart is the disappearing offense. It’s really very easy to present them a move. In spite of everything, in opposition to the Packers, they scored 28 factors. How can one legitimately complain about that? However once you look intently, there have been chilly spells and wasted alternatives, and the offense, whereas good, nonetheless was non-existent at sure factors within the recreation.
Why does this occur? Is Kellen Moore not designing ok performs for his group to achieve success? Are the huge receivers simply not creating sufficient separation? Or does this fall on their quarterback, Dak Prescott, who will not be making the precise choices or delivering sufficient good throws?
Inquiring minds need to know, so we’re going to take a deep dive at each single Prescott move and attempt to get some solutions.
A tough begin for the Cowboys’ offense as they went three-and-out. Prescott solely threw two passes and each had been off-target. He by no means seemed to his proper, threw excessive to a wide-open Tony Pollard, and fully whiffed on his closing move, throwing the ball into no man’s land.
(3 performs, 1 yard, punt: Prescott 0/2 for 0 yards)
One other three-and-out for the offense. The Cowboys had some missed alternatives. The play design was nice, however the Packers’ protection was pesky. They bought away with a jersey seize on Noah Brown that slowed him down on a deep crossing route. Prescott additionally had CeeDee Lamb huge open on a pleasant inside-out play, however Packers defensive sort out Kenny Clark bought in Dak’s face inflicting him to throw the ball out Lamb’s toes.
(3 performs, 4 yards, punt: Prescott 0/2 for 0 yards)
The Cowboys put collectively an excellent touchdown-scoring drive on this possession. The play design provided many choices for Prescott to throw the ball, however he performed it very conservatively on this drive. Of his 9 completions, solely considered one of them went for over seven yards, and that was the 21-yard completion to Lamb on the free play when the Packers jumped offsides. Prescott made fast choices and was heading in the right direction, however there have been extra interesting choices downfield. Dinking and dunking appeared to assist his confidence after the primary two three-and-outs.
(17 performs, 83 yards, TOUCHDOWN: Prescott 9/10 for 55 yards and a TD)
The Cowboys wasted an excellent alternative to place the Packers in a 14-0 gap halfway via the second quarter by throwing a decide within the endzone. Prescott was in search of Lamb over the center, however Schultz hadn’t cleared out the security sufficient to present Dak an open goal. This was questionable play-calling because the spacing was reasonably congested, unhealthy execution as Schultz wasn’t in a position to go to the precise spot, and lack of recognition from Prescott not realizing the security hadn’t cleared. It was simply unhealthy, unhealthy, actually unhealthy.
(3 performs, -1 yard, interception: Prescott 0/1 for 0 yards and an INT)
The Cowboys adopted up one drive-ending interception with one other when it was deja vu once more. Everybody remembers the decide when Lamb didn’t “cross the face” of the security, however even earlier than that, there have been unhealthy performs. Prescott threw excessive to Pollard within the flat after which once more to Gallup on a slant.
(8 performs, 17 yards, interception: Prescott 0/3 for 0 yards and an INT)
For these conserving rating at residence, if you happen to take away the Cowboys’ landing drive, Prescott was a mixed 0/8 for zero yards and two interceptions on the opposite 4 drives to begin the sport. For the higher a part of a half of soccer, Prescott was not enjoying nicely.
Sufficient of that, let’s get to some great things.
It’s unclear why it takes a free play or the two-minute offense for Prescott to chop unfastened, however when he does, man, it’s a sight to see. This drive was fast, however tremendous enjoyable to observe. Prescott was decisive along with his throws and put the ball in an ideal spot on a few slant routes, one to Lamb and one to Gallup. Prescott additionally delivered considered one of his greatest throws within the recreation when he match the ball in a decent spot to Schultz. Dak capped issues off with a landing move to Schultz with simply eight seconds left within the half. The play-calling was excellent and it was close to perfection from Prescott.
(8 performs, 66 yards, TOUCHDOWN: Prescott 5/7 for 55 yards and a TD)
This drive was fast and ugly. Dak prevented getting sacked within the endzone for a security however adopted it up with a nasty play. He handed on a wide-open Schultz that may have been a primary down and as a substitute opted to throw it to Noah Brown. Sadly, the move was low and behind Brown, forcing him to fall to the bottom to catch it. He couldn’t rise up in time to get the yards wanted for the primary down, and similar to that it was time to punt.
(3 performs, 7 yards, punt: Prescott 1/1 for 3 yards)
After the particular groups pressured a fumble on the following punt, the offense was again in enterprise, they usually didn’t waste any time both. Prescott solely threw two passes on this drive, however considered one of them was a factor of magnificence when he threw Lamb open for a 30-yard acquire. Pollard took a attract for a landing two performs later and similar to that the Cowboys had been again on prime.
(4 performs, 45 yards, TOUCHDOWN: Prescott 1/2 for 30 yards)
The excessive level on this recreation got here when the Cowboys scored back-to-back touchdowns within the third quarter to go up 28-14. They overcame an intentional grounding penalty that bought them behind the sticks with some nice passes from Dak. He hit Schultz and Lamb over the center on consecutive performs to get out of that gap, after which adopted it up with one other implausible deep left move to Lamb. It’s onerous to elucidate, however Prescott simply appears like a completely totally different quarterback when trusts himself to make these deeper throws.
(7 performs, 86 yards, TOUCHDOWN: Prescott 3/4 for 61 yards and a TD)
The passing recreation went stale after they tried to function out of 13 personnel and chew some clock. The Packers gambled and went one-on-one with the huge receivers and the Cowboys weren’t in a position to do a lot with it. The offense tried to fabricate yards with a fast move to Gallup out of a working formation, however the defender was proper on prime of him.
(8 performs, 25 yards, punt: Prescott 2/4 for 9 yards)
After the Packers tied it up, the Cowboys’ offense wanted to return up massive and end this factor up with a game-winning drive, however as we all know, it didn’t go down like that. After a first-down run that solely picked up three yards, Prescott missed a wide-open Pollard within the flat and as a substitute pressured the ball to a coated Noah Brown. Then, on an important third down, Prescott tried to go deep to Gallup, however the Packers defender impeded his path and Gallup was not in a position to regulate to the ball.
(3 performs, 3 yards, punt: Prescott 0/2 for 0 yards)
There was not a lot to see on this drive because the Cowboys solely had 16 seconds to work with, so there isn’t a level analyzing these passing performs.
(3 performs, 19 yards, finish of regulation: Prescott 1/2 for 9 yards)
The additional time drive was a combined bag as there have been some implausible performs with a few misreads sprinkled in. First off, Prescott was proper on the cash and accomplished a few excellent bang-bang completions, one to Lamb, then one other to Schultz. The incompletions damage although as Dak had a few performs the place he had a receiver open over the center of the sphere, together with the ultimate fourth-down play, however Prescott simply didn’t see it. The play-calling was sensible on this drive and Dak was nonetheless fairly good, however even regardless of some unlucky officiating, the Cowboys nonetheless had an opportunity to place this recreation away and didn’t.
(9 performs, 40 yards, turnover on downs: Prescott 3/6 for 40 yards)
What can we see after we look intently on the passing recreation? The very first thing that jumps out is that there are a whole lot of choices for Prescott. The motion, the spacing, it’s very accommodating for the quarterback. CeeDee Lamb is usually questioned for not being a real no. 1 huge receiver, however there was a whole lot of good movie on this recreation that signifies in any other case. Prescott focused him a career-high 15 instances on this recreation, and to be sincere, it nonetheless wasn’t sufficient as he was repeatedly open.
The separation from the receivers was tremendous. Although you don’t see dynamic footwork with Lamb (as we did with Amari Cooper), he possesses a suddenness that one way or the other all the time will get him open. Gallup appeared slightly stymied by the shell protection and he wasn’t creating a lot separation, and Brown did a great job discovering creases. Schultz is a masterful mind-changer on the prime of his routes which all the time has the defender leaning the incorrect approach. That’s why he’s open although he all the time has a defender in shut proximity. Schultz stays a worthwhile weapon when Prescott is fast along with his choice to get him the ball.
What strikes the needle probably the most is Prescott. When he’s comfy and in a rhythm, he’s implausible. When he appears rattled and doesn’t belief what he’s seeing, he usually misfires. To be truthful, he did have two interceptions that had been as a consequence of his receivers not being the place they had been purported to be, so that may create some belief points. That is one thing that may be strengthened, and there’s nothing we’re seeing that tells me Kellen Moore will not be setting this workforce up for fulfillment or that they’re desperately lacking a route-running separating receiver.
What do you suppose? The place is your thoughts at in terms of the Cowboys’ inconsistencies within the passing recreation? For an entire video breakdown of all of Dak Prescott’s passing makes an attempt, take a look at this video.
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