Dallas Cowboys: Pros and Cons of a Ball Control Offense [an analysis]

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 5
dallas cowboys
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Would it be wise for the Dallas Cowboys to slow down their attack and shift to a ball control offense?

The Dallas Cowboys defense is bad. Historically bad.  In just about every conceivable statistical category, the Cowboys defense is performing at an all-time worst for the franchise. Whether it’s against the run or against the pass, the defense offers zero resistance to the opposition.

The defensive weakness are seemingly accentuated by the number of times they take the field each week – a byproduct of the offense’s quick-strike nature and ability to speed up the game, thus maximizing number of possessions.

The Dallas Cowboys offense is so quick and so efficient, the defense spends more time on the field per game than the offense. Cries to win the time of possession (TOP) battle are understandable. And demands for more of a ball control offense is gaining ground by the day. But is slowing it down and going to more of a ball control offense really the smart thing to do? We look at the merits and consequences of such a thing today…

Dallas Cowboys: What is a ball control offense?

When most people speak of a ball control offense, they are speaking primarily of a scheme than grinds yards slowly, dominates time of possession, and burns clock. Sound familiar? Well, it should because it’s basically what Jason Garrett forced on fans for a decade. Sometimes with great success and sometimes to the detriment of the team.

Ball control offenses inherently ask for a run-heavy approach. Chuck yards downfield only speed things up and score too quickly. A methodical run-run-pass approach is typically what’s prescribed. This is a fine strategy if you have a dominant offensive line, elite third down receivers, and a reliable mistake-free QB with pinpoint accuracy. But if you don’t have all three, the odds of you scoring with this brand of attack are stacked against you.