The Dallas Cowboys‘ 38-33 win over the Philadelphia Eagles proved one of two things: Jason Garrett may have finally come to his senses or someone else was calling the Cowboys’ offensive plays. Garrett’s play-calling has been absolutely terrible this year, but it was superb in Week 13. So what’s the deal?
Through 12 games this year, Garrett has called at least 40 passes five different times, a 50-pass contest and two games in which Tony Romo threw 62 passes. Only one of those games resulted in a Cowboys win and Dallas is 1-14 in games in which Romo has thrown at least 40 passes since Garrett started calling the plays in 2007.
However, the Cowboys are 7-0 when running back DeMarco Murray carries the ball at least 20 times, which is exactly what he did against the Eagles in Week 13. In his first game back since injuring his foot in Week 6, Murray carried the ball 23 times for 83 yards and a touchdown. These stats may not jump off the page, but their domino effect on the contest was monumental for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys are 3-0 this year in games that Romo has thrown less than 30 passes and they’re also undefeated when he throws for 300 yards and three touchdowns. His stat line against Philadelphia: 22 of 27 for 303 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. The phrase “it’s so simple” has never been such an understatement.
Dallas’ offensive line is horrendous, but its skill players are a pretty talented group. Thus, a good game plan can help to overcome the woes up front and that’s exactly what the Cowboys had agains the Eagles. However, that’s only the second time this season Garrett has called a good game offensively and, as we say in Texas, “two of out 12 ain’t good.”
How can a man with a Princeton education be so blind and undisciplined? Garrett is a former Cowboys backup quarterback, but his trigger finger is itchier than any of the NFL‘s best gunslingers. It’s like he’s living vicariously through Romo and wanting to just throw the ball as many times as he possibly can.
Sure, Romo hasn’t had much time to throw the ball this year, but that changed when the Eagles’ defense had to remain honest and respect the running game with Murray. If the Cowboys would just utilize their running game more each week, this team could be one of the league’s best. It’s too late to contend in 2012, but with healthy starters like Sean Lee, Bruce Carter and Jay Ratliff back in 2013 to solidify the defense, Dallas could be scary good if the offensive game plan had any sense of consistency. He did good this week, but as long as Garrett is in charge, don’t hold your breath, Cowboys fans.