What is the Cowboys winning formula for 2021? Every season teams hope they have found it. The entire offseason is geared towards it. The front office obsesses over it. The coaches try to bring it all together and on game day the players try and implement it. At 3-1, the Dallas Cowboys have found the promised land. How did they get here and exactly where are they? Let’s take a closer look.
Cowboys Winning Formula – Offseason
Every great season is presaged by critical moves in the offseason. It’s no different for the Cowboys winning formula. I have to give Jerry Jones credit. He can sit on his mistakes rather than admit them and move on. He did not do so with former defensive coordinator Nolan, and he corrected the error in a big way by landing the current defensive coordinator Quinn. Literally a night to day transition. After hiring Dan Quinn Jerry got him some talent to work with. The ‘Boys didn’t force the draft, instead, they took what came to them and the results (Micah Parsons and company) speak for themselves. Dallas got the coaches, then gave the coaches the talent they needed to implement their vision. That is winning football.
Cowboys Winning Formula – By the Numbers
Dak Prescott – 75.2 completion %, 1,066 yards, 10 TD, 2 INT, 116.9 QBR
Ezekiel Elliott – 64 carries, 342 yards, 5.3 yards-per-carry, 4 TD
Tony Pollard – 37 carries, 250 yards, 6.8 yards-per-carry, 1 TD
And the receiver stats? Just too many players to list. Defenses literally have no idea which player will get the most targets on game day. Amari Cooper, Cedrick Wilson, CeeDee Lamb, Noah Brown, Dalton Schultz, Blake Jarwin are all having very good seasons. All this and Michael Gallup is on the IL.
But one of the tastiest stats is the Turnover Ratio holding at a lofty +7. You have heard of this Trevon Diggs kid, haven’t you?
As nasty as those numbers are they don’t really reflect the story of the games. Dallas has been in the driver’s seat in all four of their contests this season. Yes, even in the loss to Tampa Bay.
Cowboys Winning Formula – Versatility
Versatility is the buzzword for the Cowboys winning formula in 2021.
On offense, receivers can play inside or outside. TE’s lineup next to the tackle, in the slot, or on the wing. RB’s are in the backfield or running full route trees in the secondary. They are lining up a guard at fullback and the QB is a threat with his legs, his arm, and his decision making often changing the call at the line resulting in splash plays.
On defense, the DL are available to perform at almost any of the positions. The LB’s are available to rush the QB or cover players running deep patterns. DB’s can be assigned to any player, zone, man, or blitzing off the edge.
Rotations are heavy on defense. The snaps are spread between a group of talented defenders ala Jimmy Johnson style from the 90’s keeping them fresh not only for the 4th quarter but for the December push.
The ‘Boys can come at you with a power running scheme or go shotgun, 5 wide with comfort. The real trick is they can do it with almost every personnel package they put on the field. The opposing defense is not clued into the play selection by the personal package. The exact same effect is in play on defense. Micah Parsons is the perfect example. The opposing QB has to try and figure out, is he playing LB this time? Is he blitzing? Is he dropping in coverage? How many DL are there (count), how many LB? Oh crap, the play-clock! It’s fun to watch.
Versatility is only good if you can apply it towards a victorious outcome. This is the Cowboys winning formula for 2021. I freaking love it.
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on Twitter: Steven Van Over