The ultimate key to the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 will be the passing game. It will be the cause of it’s success…or failure.
We all know that Ezekiel Elliott, when on the field, is one of the best running backs in the NFL. But it will be the passing game that will set the tone for the Dallas Cowboys success in 2018. Yes, the Dallas Cowboys appear to be a run-first team with an improved defense. But at the end of the day the passing game will be the key to it all.
Right now the biggest question surrounding the Dallas Cowboys is how will the passing game do this season. With a fairly unproven set of tight ends, a new look wide receiver corps without a true number one, and coming off a down year for Dak Prescott, the concern is valid.
It will need to be solid, but doesn’t need to be special
We know that the Dallas Cowboys intend on running the ball a lot. Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Bo Scarbrough will be the main engine of the Dallas Cowboys’ offense. We can also assume they will face eight and maybe nine man boxes. This means the Cowboys must have their passing game contribute to keep defenses somewhat honest.
As a defense adds a defender or two into the box to stop the run, it usually means that one or two receivers will be in man coverage, without much help over the top. All the receivers have to do is win their one-on-one matchups enough to be a threat in the passing game.
If they can do this, then defenses won’t be able to consistently stack the box. It doesn’t have to be touchdowns or deep plays, just chunks of yards here and there.
Sure, the defense should be better, and the running game will carry the team. But, at the end of the season, it will be up to the passing game to keep teams off balance enough to push the Cowboys into the playoffs. What no one knows at this point, is if the passing game is enough.
Not having Jason Witten to run his famous Y-option and someone like Dez to force safeties to play over the top, will be hard to overcome, for now. If they can find enough of a replacement for both of these things, then the Cowboys should be fine. If not, it could be a long season.
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Of course, Dak has to get better at his decision making. No matter what you think of his performance in 2017, most people agree his decision making was not the best. Some of that could have been because he had no Zeke, a banged up offensive line, and was missing experience behind him helping him. Mini camp was not a good gauge for how the offense will look, as usually at that point in the season it is behind the defense. There are a lot of reasons for this, but it is fairly true across the league for all teams.
Training camp and preseason will be a better gauge to see how this offense will work. There are a lot of new faces that will need to learn this offense, players that have to prove themselves, and all we have now is questions. If it can come together early enough, this Dallas Cowboys team could be very good. If it can’t, well, there might be some changes next year.
What we do know, is the Cowboys will run the ball, and will probably be one of the best in the league at it. However, the passing game has to be just good enough or it won’t probably matter. So bring on training camp, it’s time to see what this offense will look like. Good or bad, we all want answers.