NFL rumors are swirling around the Dallas Cowboys. According to NFL.com, they are one of the teams going against the grain by switching to power football.
When someone finds something that works in the NFL, the rest of the league tries to emulate it. The read option offense is a great example of that. Guys like Tim Tebow became effective because of the scheme. The San Francisco 49ers exploited defenses by using Colin Kaepernick as a dual-threat option. Same with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.
Sometimes, going against the grain is the better option.
Right now, the NFL is leaning more and more toward the passing game. Quarterbacks are much more valuable now than they have ever been. Teams without a starter-level passer are having trouble going very far in the playoffs. Defensively, coaches and general managers have been turning toward defensive backs to help them stop the pass. Since defenses are geared toward stopping the pass, it might be a really effective move to build an offense that is focused on the run.
NFL teams are so committed to stopping the pass that a new position has actually been created. It’s a hybrid of a safety and a linebacker. More and more teams are relying on safeties to play the linebacker positions as well. This position is also going to become one of the higher-paid ones on the roster.
When the Dallas Cowboys used the fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft on Ezekiel Elliott, they proved to the league that they are committed to the run game. Many were under the impression that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was certainly going to choose his quarterback of the future. Instead, he stayed disciplined.
The Dallas Cowboys now have all the tools to be one of the best running teams in the NFL. Ezekiel Elliott is a punishing running back. Their offensive line is filled with superstars such as Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, and Tyron Smith. Along with Doug Free and La’el Collins, they’ll be able to run over the nickel and dime defenses that they frequently see.
By committing to the ground game, the Dallas Cowboys are actually protecting Tony Romo. The 36-year-old quarterback will no longer be required to pass the ball more than he needs to. Doing that helps to reduce the risk of Romo going down with an injury for the season again.
While the Dallas Cowboys are committing more to the power running game, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to abandon the passing game. It would be foolish to do that when you have Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and Dez Bryant on the roster. Those three guys are still three of the best in the NFL.
A strong ground game is going to make the Dallas Cowboys’ passing game even harder to defend. After being pounded by Ezekiel Elliott and the physical offensive line, defensive coordinators are going to start playing eight men in the box. They’re going to use more defensive linemen and linebackers. That should free up Dez Bryant and Jason Witten to attack the secondary.
Defensively, the Dallas Cowboys should benefit from the commitment to the power running game. Ezekiel Elliott is going to enable the Cowboys to chew up a lot of the clock. Dallas will see their defense spending less time on the field. That’s a good thing because they didn’t spend a lot of resources this offseason upgrading the unit.
It took a couple of years to convince Jerry Jones, but the Dallas Cowboys are now going with substance over style.
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