Kellen Moore, the Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator, is a brilliant play designer. For as much as Cowboys Nation loves to bemoan his failures, he’s one of the most innovative and highly regarded minds in the NFL. One of his best attributes is his ability to switch things up and not be the same predictable designer year after year.
Trained under both the West Coast offense and the Air Coryell offense, Kellen mixes and matches how he sees fit. Getting buy-in from the offensive line coach, the head coach, and even a meddling front office, has been a balancing act for the 34-year-old OC.
For the most part, Kellen has avoided ugly trends (expect for his propensity to run the ball on 2nd and 10, which, statistically, is the worst thing a play-caller can do). But one thing did jump off the screen from last year and it’s absolutely imperative for the Dallas Cowboys to correct it.
The Dallas Cowboys cannot afford to leave their offensive tackles on an island and must deploy regular help to the edge in 2022.
Of the nine offensive tackle who were left alone on the edge the most frequently last season, three were Dallas Cowboys linemen. Tyron Smith was alone 67% of the time, Terence Steele was left alone 67.2% of the time, and La’el Collins 68.1%, fourth most in the NFL.
Not only did Dallas have enormous issues handling pressure last season, but it’s a deficiency that will probably get worse this season. Steele looks similar to last year (still trouble with power rushers) and will likely be a below-average pass protector.
Tyler Smith, the expected LT1, is a rookie who’s about as fundamentally sound as a June Bug (I’m not sure what that means but you get the point). And Jason Peters is roughly 57-years-old and operating on borrowed time. None of these three should be league leaders in solo pass blocking. All of them would greatly benefit from TE or RB assistance this year.
Keeping Dak Prescott healthy is a top priority this season. If he goes, the season goes. Kellen Moore has to keep him alive even if it means one less pass-catcher downfield. At the very least, the Cowboys need chip-blocking that would allow for a delayed route run.
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If your OTs are elite or your passing game is quick strike, then by all means, leave them on an island. But that’s not the reality the Cowboys live in and Kellen Moore has to design plays that account for it. The Cowboys cannot afford the same strategy as last season.