Cowboys: 4th down aggressiveness nice but fake punts ain’t it, chief

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys have increased their aggressiveness this season but not all of it is a good thing

The Dallas Cowboys have been more aggressive these first two weeks of the 2020 season than they were the entire 2019 season. The previous administration only went for it on fourth downs when absolutely necessary and all other hope had been lost. The new Mike McCarthy Cowboys seem to go for it whenever the situation calls for it.

We saw a fourth down attempt blow up their faces in Week 1 when Dallas could have tied the game late with a field goal, yet opted for the conversion and subsequent go-ahead score instead. This much criticized move was smart by analytical standards, and backed up by the probability models (assuming you actually wanted to win, of course).

The aggressive behavior was continued in Week 2 with McCarthy understandable resistant to give the ball back. In all the Dallas Cowboys are a paltry 1 for 5 on fourth down attempts. Not exactly what you’d expect from a dominant offense but at the same time, kind of what you expect from an injury riddled offensive line.

The odds suggest the Dallas Cowboys are due to regress to the mean and start converting at a higher rate than the 20 percent they’re currently at. But that can only happen if the right people are put in the right place to do so.

Quick quiz:

  1. Who would you rather throwing a pass – QB1 Dak Prescott or the punter Chris Jones?
  2. Now who would you rather have catching the pass – WR1 Amari Cooper or special teams ace C.J. Goodwin?

I’m no mind-reader but I assume most of you answered with the former option rather than the latter. It only makes sense, right? I mean you wouldn’t ask your mechanic to fill your cavity or your dentist to rebuild your transmission or your gardener to do you taxes would you?

Even though there’s a level of surprise involved in a fake punt, the benefits of specialization and expertise far outweigh the benefits of catching your opponent off-guard. Especially when you have a 40-burger offense at your disposal.

More from Dallas Cowboys

Now, there is still a place for fake punts on the Dallas Cowboys. In cases where you actually think you’ve caught you opponent completely off-guard (probably in situations that Dallas is ahead) a run on a fake punt may be just what the doctor ordered. You’re not asking your punter to pass and you’re not asking your DB to catch so theirs just less that can go wrong.

The aggressiveness is a welcomed sight but when you have one of the best offenses in the NFL why not use them?

Must Read. The Cowboys LB Depth is Better Than Anticipated. light

Next. Cowboys should thank Atlanta for the gift of CeeDee Lamb. dark

It’s a good thing the Cowboys are going for it more often this season but let’s let the offense, not punt team, do most of this, shall we?

  • Published on 09/23/2020 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 09/23/2020 at 09:08 AM