Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Decoding Garrett - Week 3 - Houston - Videos

As seen here: http://cowboysblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/09/bob-sturms-decoding-jason-garr-1.html

Video Breakdowns:

Every week in this very spot, I like to examine some of the interesting concepts and ideas that the Cowboys put in their game-plan. This piece is best consumed with the raw data that was posted earlier today, so we can see how each play fits in the larger picture of the game.

I want to pick 5 or 6 plays each week, some that had great results and others that did not - to see for ourselves how the Cowboys handled their offensive business.

This week, I have 6 from the big win at Houston, so let's take a look:

Thanks, Brian at DC Fanatic.com .

The Play:Play #15 (no play) - long screen to Felix 1/10/20 2Q

What Happened:According to the NFL Play-by-Play, this play doesn't exist because of the penalty on Austin. But, nevertheless, I promise you that the Cowboys coaches and their upcoming opponents are taking note at how close this was to a massive gain. 1st Down, and the Cowboys show "21" personnel, but with Felix instead of Marion. We keep asking, "how can this team use Felix best"? Well, here you see it - get him in space. In pre-snap, the Cowboys show Gronkowski at fullback, but then force the Texans to take a defender out of the box and follow him up to the top sideline. Now, the Cowboys are facing a stacked front that is ready to blow up any run play. The objective on the swing pass is to sucker the OLB on the play side to over pursue towards the QB. If he plays Felix for this route, it won't work - but as you can see, the OLB (lined up over Witten) heads right for Romo. The Cowboys have caught the Texans in the right situation, and if they execute this throw and catch, it could go for 80 yards. At the moment Felix catches you should pause the video. Look at the numbers. There is no reason this play won't work unless your WR is flagged for illegal block. The Cowboys will use this play again - but the defenses around the league will likely be on guard for it. But it is a clear way to use Felix in space.

The Play:Play #28 - S11 - 1/10/36 Felix +12

What Happened: Ok, I talked about this in the earlier post. This is a very simple concept that is based on showing pass and then running against an under-populated box. S11 (3WR) and Witten force you to load up with DBs. You can see in pre-snap that Romo is motioning to his WR what his plan is. That gamesmanship is all over the NFL, and the DBs watch him and try to figure out if he is actually trying to say something or is he simply trying to confuse them. Look at how the LBs of Houston are worried about covering their zones and not expecting a run play with this much pass personnel on the field. Then, watch 70-Leonard Davis pull from RG and get in space and show that he can still do good things by pushing back 54-Zach Diles as Felix runs by and picks up an easy dozen. All based on selling the defense on pass and then running. Great concept on 1st and 10. Doesn't work as well on 3rd and 10.


The Play:Play #37 - S11 1/10/10 - Felix for 15

What Happened: The last 4 plays of this week's videos are all from the same drive in the 3rd Quarter where the offense looked like everything you dreamed it would be. Again, if the Texans are going to go nickel and back way off, the Cowboys are going to look for opportunities with Felix Jones in space. A different blocking idea here with no pulling guard like the play above. But, with Felix in Shotgun, you really play to his strengths. The aren't always going to be 15 yard gains, but this is the classic conflict that you want to cause your opposition - if they dedicate players to stopping Felix, Romo starts passing over the top. But, if they sit on Miles and Dez, then you give it to Felix for easy gains. This is what New England, Indianapolis, and New Orleans do constantly. "11" personnel stresses and stretches a defense to take everything away. They simply cannot do it. So, you take what they give you. Basic stuff, here. And it works best if you do it on early downs and with the score in a good spot.


The Play: Play #41 - 21 1/10/44 - pass to Bryant +30

What Happened: At this point, the Cowboys are carving the Texans up on offense. The Texans now see "21" personnel, with Gronkowski offset right and Witten lined up right. With Barber back there, the idea of a power run right is all too obvious. The Texans have an 8 man front. Single high safety and this is where you count on your QB to get a read as he heads to the center and check out of a run if he has something tasty outside. It appears he audibles, but there is no way to really know. He sees Dez Bryant locked up with 21-Brice McCain and the high safety 26-Eugene Wilson will have to decide where to help (although with Hurd on the other side that should not be a difficult decision). This is an easy concept, but it takes a perfect throw from your QB. And Romo puts it right on his hands for a nice easy gain. There is really no defense for that throw and catch. But again, showing run makes passing so much easier.

The Play:Play #42 - 12 1/10/26 - pass to Martellus +11

What Happened: This is the very next play. Now, the Cowboys run the very rare bootleg that I wish they would do more to utilize Romo's legs and also to take some pressure off the offensive line from time to time. This is "12" personnel, with Witten and Bennett both lined up left (selling run left) and then flooding the right side with receivers. Witten shallow, Bennett intermediate, and Austin and Williams deep of the play action fake rollout. Assuming the LBs bought the Play action, this is a simple numbers game concept. Someone will be open. And we see that Martellus is left to roam the entire middle of the field with nobody near him. Pitch and catch, an easy 1st down because the Texans are respecting the threat of a run. Very simple pick your poison game planning.

The Play:Play #43 - 21 1/10/15 - pass to Roy TD +15

What Happened: And here is the very next play (all on the same drive)! Now, they are in "21" personnel, with Witten flexed into the left slot. Austin on one side, Williams on the other. Honestly, this is the very best this offense has looked and during this drive, Romo is so confident that he almost looks like he is trying to find every receiver on the field on this drive. Sam Hurd, Dez Bryant, and Martellus Bennett have all caught first downs on the last 3 plays, so now it is his choice to find the match-up he likes so he goes to Roy Williams (look at Austin up top who also looks like he is wide open on the slant). Roy had his best game as a Cowboy (nothing comes close) and gets a great release and shows solid hands here. Poor Brice McCain is just being followed around the field right now, and this is what Tony Romo looks like in the zone. When you can put the ball on its target like this, reading the defense becomes less of a priority. This doesn't happen often, but when it does, there is no stopping the Cowboys offense.

Tomorrow: Targets and Sacks for Week 3 - including the first perfect 158.3 day for a Cowboys WR

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