Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Cowboys must give the ball to their playmakers

By Jean-Jacques Taylor

IRVING, Texas -- Philosophically, Jason Garrett believes the more players a defense has to stop, the better, because it allows his offense to attack favorable matchups.

The problem with Garrett's philosophy is that way too many players have roles in his offense, something that must change if the Dallas Cowboys are somehow going to make the playoffs this season.

See, Garrett's philosophy is built around taking what the defense gives you. It's the reason guys such as Kevin Ogletree and Cole Beasley have had more than 10 passes directed their way in a single game this season.

It's also the reason Dez Bryant had one pass directed his way in 32 first-half plays.

"We always want to get the ball to a guy like Dez, but we want to get it to Witten, too, we want to get it to Miles, we want to get it to the other guys," Garrett said. "We want to run the football. All of those guys are a part of what we want to do for 60 minutes in the game."

No. No. No.

The other guys -- Beasley, Ogletree, John Phillips and Felix Jones -- had five passes directed their way in the first half. They caught two of them for 1 yard.

This team isn't good enough to let Bryant, one of its best offensive players, be a nonfactor for an entire half, but that's what occasionally happens in Garrett's offense because the ball is supposed to go wherever the coverage dictates it should go.

Whatever.

Sometimes, an offense needs to take what it wants -- not what the defense gives it.

To read the rest of this column, click here.