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Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Garrett doesn't want to be one-dimensional

By Tim MacMahon

IRVING, Texas – Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett offered no apologies and only a vague explanation for the run-pass imbalance in Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Garrett, however, said that the goal is always to be a balanced offensive team.

“That’s something that I think we’ve done a good job of this year,” said Garrett. “You always want to attack the defense with as many things as you can. It starts with the run and pass. It starts with running it inside, running it outside, throwing it long, throwing it short and using different personnel groups and different players. That’s what we’re always trying to do. Sometimes game situations throw that out of whack.”

The Cowboys’ running backs combined for only 11 carries Sunday. That’s their lowest total since they had eight in a loss to the Washington Redskins last season.

Running backs coach Skip Peete said the Cowboys had a lot of run-pass checks in last season’s loss to Washington. The vast majority of those plays ended up being passes because the Redskins were showing eight-man fronts. That wasn’t the case against the Packers, according to Peete, who deferred to Garrett when asked why the play-calling was so pass-happy.

Garrett said it was because of “game circumstance,” mentioning that the Cowboys trailed by three scores with 10 minutes remaining in the game.

But the Cowboys abandoned the run after the first quarter, when Marion Barber had four carries for 27 yards. Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers told reporters after the game that Green Bay, which sacked Tony Romo five times, could blitz aggressively because the Cowboys were so one-dimensional.

“You don’t want to be one-dimensional in anything you do,” said Garrett, whose offense has run pass plays 62.7 percent of the time this season, including sacks and Romo scrambles. “You don’t want to just be an inside running team. You don’t just want to be an outside running team. You don’t just want to be a dropback team. You want to be able to move the quarterback, you want to be able to run the ball, play-action, drop back.

“The more you can do, the harder it is on the defense. At the same time, you need to have an identity. Identity is important, too. You don’t want to be all things to all people, but you want to be good at a lot of different things.”

What’s the identity of the Cowboys’ offense?

“Hopefully, we’re a team that plays with great tempo and urgency and we’re physical,” Garrett said. “We can make little plays and big plays and there’s an aggressiveness and attacking style to our team, both in the run game and the pass game.”

The Cowboys have the weapons to make that work, when Garrett gives the running game a chance to get going.