Formerly an email newsletter about all things NFL, it's now a blog about all things NFL, but mostly all things Dallas Cowboys. Probably with a dose of politics, food, and college football.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Uncoordinated offense

The Cowboys have no offensive coordinator. It would be too easy to just go from there and say their offense is uncoordinated, but there’s more to it.

The passing game coordinator is Sean Payton. So first of all, yecchh.

The running game coordinator is OL coach Tony Sparano. No idea what kind of coach he is. He was TE coach last year. The running game coordinator the two previous years was Maurice Carthon.

The plays are called by Parcells.

If any coach other than Parcells had this setup, the press would bury him.

It doesn’t mean the offense can’t succeed, it’s just uncoordinated. For two years, the Dallas offense has consistently lacked flow, or rhythm. It’s lacked an identity, but that may have more to do with the shifting personnel.

Parcells said the other day that he doesn’t want any voices shouted down in the offensive meeting room. He said didn’t want a dictator.

He doesn’t seem to have a problem with having a defensive coordinator, but whatever.

Is an offensive coordinator necessary? Maybe not. The early 90’s Cowboys only had five different running plays. And the passing game was very much a ‘line ‘em up and out-execute the opposition’s scheme, particularly after Zampese became coordinator.

God, I hated Zampese. It was at the end of his tenure when Cowboys players said the ny Giants were calling out the pass patterns before the ball was snapped. Felipe Alou could have coordinated that offense.

But if there is any level of sophistication to your offense, I think it should have a coordinator, and he should call the plays. I can only hope that Sparano scouts the opposition and submits or suggests plays that will work well against that opposition when the game plan is being installed each week. I assume Payton does the same with the passing game.

What you end up with is a Dan Reeves style offense, where you have a bunch of plays at your disposal, filed by down and distance. I don’t know any more about Reeves’ offenses than that, but that’s what he had. What I think was left unsaid is that there is then a certain randomness to the play calling.

You have 20 plays for 2nd and 5. Second and five comes up in the game. Pick a play. Next time pick a different one. Next time, a different one. Perhaps in the 2nd half you come back to one that worked well, maybe from a different formation.

It’s possible, but not likely given what they’ve done the last two years, that there is a rhyme or reason to the pattern of plays. Or maybe there really is no pattern. Maybe they’re just plays.

Without the coordinator/coordination, the offense seems to lack the set up. Using one play to set up the next. Or one play to set up a later, bigger play.

I’ll admit it – like Jim Mora said, I don’t… know. Maybe there’s a play progression I just don’t see. I don’t go to their meetings. I don’t really know what they’re trying to do.

I really don’t.

5 Comments:

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Blogger Anthony Boselli said...

Tony Soprano is the O line coach? No wonder they stink.

If extortion, murder for hire, narcotics trafficking and illegal cigarette sales were skill sets for NFL o linemen, they'd be the best most probably.

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