After Further Review – Offense Edition – One step up, two steps back

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After the step forward made with the Giants, here are the two steps back from Sunday’s game against Seattle. We have to go back at least two years to find a performance so bad for the offense. 220 yds of total offense and 3.9 yds per play, numbers far from acceptable, from any angle you want to watch them.

3.9 yds per play is the 5th worst performance of the last 10 years, before Cassel only McGee and three times Brad Johnson did worse, always in substitution for Romo. I think from now on we should not feel doubts about the magnitude of Tony Romo, Tony Romo is the Dallas Cowboys, no Tony Romo no Dallas Cowboys.

Only positive, and ongoing aspect, is the running game. Despite having lost the dominant character of 2014, it continues to be effective enough to keep us in the game. The statistics are slightly worse than last year when the Cowboys were the best in the league, but it only got worse to the point of continuing to keep us in the top ten for Runs, Yards, Yards per play and Yards per game. What does change radically is the effectiveness of these runs within the Game. For example we go from 288 yds gained in the first quarters, to 145 in seconds, 149 in the third, down to 122 on the 4th quarters. Certainly the games situation requires Cowboys to run less in 4th quarters, but what causes this remarkable drop in performance even among the first and the second quarter ? A different approach from Defenses? Different play calling ? At the moment we have no answers.

Sunday’s overall statistics are merciless, 56 plays (29 runs and 27 passes) for 220 yds of total offense, 4 of 14 on third down conversions, 3.4 yds per pass and 0 TD on 3 trips to the red zone. Luckily 0 turnovers. What became clear was the regression of Cassel. It’s possible that having suffered three consecutive interceptions last week, may have affected his play, and still Seattle is not an easy team to play against. So much that after the success that the Cowboys had using Personnel with 2/3 TE, Seattle came with some good adjustments, allowing only 29 yds on 14 runs with this Personnel on the field.

Overall an inadequate performance, against a good team, but still playing with a fearful approach, especially in red zone offense. Three times we came close to achieving a TD that would have given victory, and three times the calls were shy, conservative, as if this team still had something to lose. The other two games before Romo’s return are against two aggressive defenses, able to cause turnovers and put up points, two games that, if lost, would make Romo’s come back even more desired. Dependence on good performances by OL and running game is no longer possible, the courage to try even more dangerous things is needed, especially when you have the ability to hurt your opponent, which may not be a RB throw in the red zone. To live or to die bravely, or we will forever regret not having even tried.

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