Dallas Cowboys: 2 Things they need to improve

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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dallas cowboys
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

Dak is back, but this Dallas Cowboys offense still needs explosive plays

For all of the Dallas Cowboys fans that wanted Cooper Rush to start over Dak Prescott, they received a quick reality check as they witnessed the stark difference between a franchise quarterback and a backup in back to back weeks.

It’s clear that Dak can make passes that Rush simply cannot complete. It’s that simple.

When it comes to Dallas’ passing game, it is lacking the big explosive plays that keep opposing defensive coordinators up late at night. I realize Rush has played quarterback the majority of the season and was limited, but with Dak back on the field, Dallas must find those explosive plays with their playmakers.

And the explosive plays cannot be forced. Twice against the Lions, Dak unwisely and carelessly forced deep balls into triple coverage. Dak admitted he was being greedy and wanted the big play, but Dallas has enough playmakers at the skill positions for Dak NOT to make ill-advised passes.

That means offensive coordinator-Kellen Moore (Boy Wonder)-must scheme up ways to get the entire wide receiving corps involved with big plays, and that also includes running back Tony Pollard and special teams ace KaVontae Turpin. It’s expected of Dallas’ biggest homerun threats (CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup) to have explosive plays on the norm, but it’s even more crucial for Moore to scheme up plays for Pollard and Turpin. And here is why:

If used correctly, Pollard’s skillset will give Dallas’ offense the true “X” factor of a featured back that can beat you either running the ball or as a receiving threat. In college, Pollard played consistently and effectively in the slot with much success. With Pollard’s speed and escape ability, he would be a nightmare for linebackers in coverage, and that goes for safeties, too.

As you have witnessed, Pollard has the ability to take any run to pay dirt and has the longest runs of any player on the offense. Why Moore and Mike McCarthy have not made Pollard the “X” factor on offense is beyond mind boggling. Pollard could be Dallas ‘version of Deebo Samuels, the San Francisco 49ers versatile wide receiver/running back.

Samuels’ versatility allows head coach Kyle Shanahan to dial up different type of schemes to benefit the 49ers offense and to put them in a better position to succeed. Hence, why the 49ers signed Samuels to a massive contract.

In the above paragraphs, I mentioned how Lamb and Gallup are expected to be this offense’s homerun threats. Of course, neither has had a real opportunity to excel because Rush has been the quarterback and Gallup is still easing his way back into form after recovering from an ACL injury. Further, Dak just returned from his own injury and is in the process of shaking off the rust himself-meaning moving forward this trio has to shine.

The key is for Dak and his top-2 receivers to get into sync and make some dynamic plays together. No, Dak cannot throw into triple coverage but if Lamb claims to be a legit WR1 and Gallup is WR1A, then these two must step up mightily because…

This offense appears to be committed to the running game (something I thought was forbidden under Moore as the OC). A strong running game opens up play-action pass and that’s when remarkable things happen for the passing game. That means that Lamb and Gallup have to take advantage of their opportunities when they present themselves because currently this offense lacks a deep threat.

Sidebar: Dak averaged 10.5 air yards per attempt against the Lions. The most by Dallas Cowboys QB this season

A deep threat takes the top off, but since Lamb takes on double and sometimes triple coverage, who is going to make the plays? Do you see what I mean now? A solution is on the way once James Washington returns from injury, but in the meantime, the play makers must step up to the challenge and match the efforts of its running game.

Lastly, it is a good idea for Dallas to stick to the running game because for three primary reasons:

1.     It creates play action pass/keeps defenses honest

2.     Dallas’ offensive line is better at run blocking than pass protection.

3.     Running the ball keeps Dak upright and protected

To be clear, I’m not against passing the ball, but Dak does not need to pass the ball 50 times in a game unless it is absolutely necessary. Dak has been injured three years in a row. Common sense must prevail at some point.