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Monday, September 24, 2012
Cowboys could go simple to help deal with penalties

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas – Penalties have played a big part in the Dallas Cowboys' lack of success on offense so far this season, and coach Jason Garrett said a solution might be to make things easier at the line of scrimmage.

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“I think you try in some ways you simplify some of the conversations that are happening or clean up some of the conversations that are happening, that’s one thing,” Garrett said. “The other thing is you play more together. We’ll address those in practice. There’s a lot of specific ways we’ll get into to it to try to address it, but the big thing is it’s got to carry from the practice field to the game field. We’re working hard on it. We feel that if we address that we’ll move the ball more effectively and become the offense we think we’re capable of becoming.”

The Cowboys’ offense was penalized six times for false starts (three by Doug Free, two by Jason Witten, one by Tyron Smith) and had three holding penalties (Free, Nate Livings, Lawrence Vickers) Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Overall, the Cowboys had 13 penalties for 105 yards.

Some of the blame can be placed on new players on the offensive line. Some of it can be the quarterback’s cadence. Some of it is lack of concentration.

“It starts with the coach, me, the obviously all 11 guys on offense, we just have to do a better job with it,” Garrett said.

In the past in practices, if a player jumps early he has been replaced for a snap. Doing that in a game is not likely feasible, but Garrett knows the miscues must be cut down.

“We’ve tied to address it as coaches,” Garrett said. “We’re going to address it to the team this week and just make sure we get it right because it’s too hard to overcome those things to become a good offense. You don’t get many opportunities to drive the football in a game. When you’re behind the chains it’s much more difficult.”