1st & 10: Cowboys 'Problem' Becomes NFC East 'Solution? NFL Notebook

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - First & 10: Did A Dallas Cowboys 'Problem' Just Become An NFC East 'Solution? Our Sunday NFL Notebook From Frisco ...

1) GIANT GOAT? In Dallas, Jason Garrett is now largely considered a scapegoat. In New York? They're hoping he can me more like a G.O.A.T.''

"Absolutely.'' says Giants legend Carl Banks when I ask him about the Big Apple view of former Cowboys coach Garrett as a solution to what's been ailing his franchise. "You guys can laugh, but in Dallas he took a fourth-round quarterback and made him the most efficient guy in the league, he helped develop the best running back in the league and he helped build the best offense of line in football.

"There is a lot of talent there,'' says Banks, a two-time Super Bowl winner and one of the great Giants of all time, who now works as their analyst on radio. "Talent, yes, but it took schematics to do that, too.''

Rookie Giants coach Joe Judge says his 2020 offense will be 'similarly based' on what Garrett ran in Dallas for his decade as head coach.

“I think schematically the easiest way to describe (the offense) to the outside world right now is you know it's going to be similarly based on what Jason's done in Dallas,” Judge says.

Garrett’s dismissal in Dallas (and then his move to become the Giants offensive coordinator) causes some to chuckle at the notion. But consider the move from a New York perspective:

Last season under the prior regime, the Giants ranked 23rd in the NFL in total offense, averaging 338.5 yards per game.

Meanwhile, Garrett’s Cowboys in 2019 ranked first in the league in total yards per game with 431.5 yards per game, second in passing at 296.9 yards per, fifth in rushing yards with 134.6 yards per and sixth in scoring with 27.1 points per.

The Giants’ centerpieces are second-year quarterback Daniel Jones (who Garrett will be teaching with the hope that he can match Dak Prescott's accomplishments in Dallas) and third-year running back Saquon Barkley (who is in the same league with Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott).

Banks tells me when he looks at the "talent'' and the "schematics,'' it's obvious - chuckles aside - that New York made a smooth move here.

"Yes,'' Banks says. "Look at the bottom line (of Garrett in Dallas). "We (the Giants) will take that.''

2) JERRY'S LEAD I detailed in this space a week ago why I believe Jerry Jones has every reason to take his time on the way to saying and doing the right thing in terms of social injustice. ... and that I believe he will eventually realize he wishes "to be on the right side of history.''

That said ... he's really taking his time.

But check out what Larry Fitzgerald is saying about commissioner Roger Goodell's "Black Lives Matter'' speech ... and compare it to what Cowboys free agent Michael Bennett is saying about it ... and you realize the value of measuring one's words. 

My column on that subject - "Some NFL Owners Waiting On Jerry Regarding Social Injustice Talk - And Here's Why'' - is here.

3) McCOY GETS A DO-OVER: Once upon a time, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy opined that Carson Wentz was better than Dak Prescott. Now that McCoy is a Cowboy, we'll allow him a do-over on that and other issues, right?

4) THE CEEDEE HYPE: When Dez Bryant and Michael Irvin projected rookie CeeDee Lamb as a future Hall-of-Famer, I considered it hyperbole from two voices that are very good at hyperbole.

But when the rookie Lamb himself sort of projects the same? Let's take another look.

5) HATING THE COWBOYS “This is how amazing God is, he always knows … I’ve always hated the f’ing Cowboys,” says a rookie member of the Philadelphia Eagles, and I give him credit: He's barely been in Philly for two months, and before he's probably even rented an apartment, the Cowboys have set up housekeeping in his head.

6) KAEP TO THE COWBOYS? I don't see it, for one big reason. 

But our Richie Whitt sees Colin Kaepernick to the Cowboys as a story worth speculating about ... for three reasons I think you will find, well, reasonable. Read "Whitt's End'' here.

7) TANK TIMES TWO: A pair of juicy bites from DeMarcus Lawrence, who predicts his sack numbers will go up in 2020 (good!) while also reflecting on 2019 by saying the Cowboys were "distracted and divided.'' (Bad!)

8) PRE-SNAP MOVEMENT Analyst Warren Sharp notes that the (arguably) five most successful offenses in the 2019 NFL season are also the five offenses that most-often used pre-snap motion before a passing play. The breakdown is ... stunning.

Writes Sharp: "The five teams that used the most pre-snap motion ahead of passes last year:

KC: Super Bowl Champions & #2 seed

SF: Super Bowl & #1 seed

TEN: AFC Championship & #6 seed

BAL: Best regular season record & #1 seed

NE: #3 seed

The NFL average in this circumstance was was 35 percent of the time; these five teams were all above 50 percent. And what did it do for them? Helped the QB see if the defense was in zone or man ... help find a weak spot/hole in the defense ... Help switch in and out of pass/run plays depending on the defensive alignment.

In short, it "fools'' the defense.

In recent Garrett seasons, the coaching staff here argued that simplicity is preferred, that "Beat The Man Across From You'' was a more winning formula that "complexity.''

The Chiefs, Niners, Ravens, Titans and Patriots just told recent Garrett coaching staffs that they were wrong.

9) PRESEASON PREDICTION The NFL is considering cutting in half its usual four-game preseason as a safety bow to COVID-19. (That might still make three preseason games for Dallas due to the Canton visit; we shall see.) Here's my prediction: Once the NFL community gets a load of a two-game exhibition schedule - which will come with the realization/admission that nobody ever needed the traditional four games - we'll never look back.

And two-game preseasons will become the norm going forward.

10) THE FINAL WORD "I know Jerry's heart - he's a compassionate person and he's not a racist.'' - Dez Bryant, with our exclusive CowboysSI.com story here.

Comments

News

FEATURED
COMMUNITY