Sunday, October 28, 2012
Big Decision: Jason Garrett must attack
By Jean-Jacques Taylor
A conservative approach at the end of the game worked out for Jason Garrett in last week's win over Carolina.
It won't work this week. The New York Giants are too good.
This is the week for Garrett to be at his aggressive best as a play-caller because without inside linebacker Sean Lee, who's out for the year after having toe surgery, the Cowboys will struggle to consistently stop the Giants' big-play passing attack.
As simplistic as it sounds, the Cowboys must score touchdowns instead of kicking field goals this week. Before you laugh, Dan Bailey kicked four field goals last week against Carolina, and he had three against Baltimore the week before that.
Garrett has found more balance in the Cowboys' offense each of the past two games, running the ball more than 30 times.
Against the Giants, Garrett must add play-action passes to the mix. The Cowboys have tried only 25 in 234 attempts this season, according to Pro Football Focus, the lowest percentage in the league.
Play-action can lead to big plays. So can screen passes to Felix Jones when the Giants blitz.
The Cowboys try so few trick plays, this might be the week to pull one out. Again, it's about scoring touchdowns this week.
Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are capable of making big plays. Bryant's 38-yard catch helped Dallas take a 7-3 lead just before halftime, and Austin's leaping grab and subsequent 34-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter gave the Cowboys a 24-10 lead.
Romo remains a high-caliber quarterback, even though he hasn't played like it much of the season. This is not the week to take the Romo out of Romo.
This is the week to unleash the quarterback, and the Cowboys' offense.