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Expectations Of The Cowboys’ Offense In Week One

Expectations for Cowboys vs Giants BRIAN MILNER VIA FLICKR


What Should Expectations Consist Of For The Cowboys?

With the 2016 NFL Regular Season inching closer, what should the expectations be for the Cowboys in their season opener against the New York Giants? My guess would be a heavy dose of Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred Morris.

Scott Linehan will be calling plays once again for Dallas this year. With rookie, Dak Prescott starting at quarterback to open the season, it would be wise to establish the running game quickly. The reasoning behind this is very simple. When an offense can impose their will on a defense by effectively running the ball, it demands help.

In order to challenge or stop an effective running attack, it requires filling the proper gaps and having defenders hold up their responsibilities within the defensive call. This impacts the offense by providing them with more options. By committing extra attention to stop the run, this leaves the receivers with more one-on-one match ups. I would look for Linehan to call run plays early and often to get the offense rolling. It will hopefully supply Prescott with better coverage looks from the defense and enable him to take shots down the field.

One of the keys for a young quarterback to be successful is to feel confident. The Cowboys can help Prescott achieve this by getting him some easy and quick looks. Designed plays with short route concepts and  patterns would be ideal to get Dak going.

The players to watch for early on in the passing attack would be tight end Jason Witten and wide receiver Cole Beasley. Beasley primarily runs his routes from the slot position, thus giving him the ability to quickly get open on short routes. For years, Jason Witten has been the go-to-guy for the Dallas offense. Linehan will likely have Witten run a few curls, drags, and hitches to quickly get open and give Prescott a target to find.

Early on, the offense might not be explosive for the Cowboys. If they can establish a consistent and effective pattern by running the ball and getting quick completions from Prescott, it will open up the big plays for guys like Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, and Brice Butler down the field.

If I was to project the first few possessions for the Cowboys week one, I would lean heavily on the running game. I would bet the run to pass play calling ratio will be around two to one in the first quarter. You might see a few early deep shots down the field, but not likely with a rookie starting.

Efficiency is the goal for most offenses. If the Cowboys can put it all together on offense by getting Elliott and Morris involved early, getting Dak some easy completions, and getting their play maker involved in Dez Bryant, they should have no problem moving forward.

Everything starts week one against the Giants. The 2016 Cowboys team is led by two rookies, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott has shown he can handle the NFL spotlight thus far with a very successful and electrifying preseason. Elliott didn’t receive much work this preseason, as he was resting and healing a hamstring injury much of the preseason, but he looked great against Seattle.

Dallas fans are eager and they should expect simplicity from the Cowboys’ offense as we roll into the first week of play. Any expectations of a fast paced and big play offense might not be as realistic. Dak Prescott will look to get going as they will run the offense through him. Quick and easy pass play calls mixed with a plentiful amount of running plays will be a recipe for success against the Giants.

The Cowboys’ season opener is Sunday, September 11th, 2016 at 4:25 pm EST in Arlington, Texas.