Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Decoding Garrett - Week 4 - Tennessee - Videos

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 will also be posted 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. Trouble is, this week, I could have chosen 15 plays - both good and bad.

But, for simplicity, I have selected 4 run plays, 3 pass plays (all Touchdowns) - and then tomorrow, we will examine the disaster in pass protection in our Sack analysis.

So, 7 plays vs the Titans to study:

Thanks, Brian at DC Fanatic.com .

The Play:Play #4 - 1/10/40 - "21" Felix for 20 yards

What Happened:Lost in all of the excitement from the weekend was the performance of Scott Chandler - 86 - who was not added to the roster until Sept 24. Because of the lack of a FB, Chandler had to quickly learn the position once Gronkowski was not going to be available. But, on this play, the 4th from scrimmage, we see the Cowboys set up Chandler as a full-back, offset to the left. In presnap motion, Austin and Witten switch sides (Austin to the right, Witten to the left). This sets up a power run to the left and a spot where Tenn feels a bit light on the flank to handle a pulling Leonard Davis. Davis had a very poor game, but this, the 4th snap from scrimmage is a beauty. As he turns the corner, he eats up 2 Titans little guys, and Chandler and Witten both get blocks as well. Also, lock in on 68 - Free as he gets his block, gets to the 2nd level and gets another, and appears to be ready to run with Felix if they can get 1 more. We see this play plenty from the Cowboys out of "21" personnel, and it is just a show of strength. And, if the defense loads up for it, then you have Dez and Miles on the backside, so it is the classic conflict for the Titans - especially on 1st and 10. You cannot stop everything. Felix for 20 yards is a nice start.

The Play:Play #37 - "21" 2/4/41 - Felix for 34

What Happened: OK - here is why I love doing this project. The play above (Play #4) and this one are the exact same play. Double WR to the left, TE and FB to the right and Felix carrying the mail. Both teams know that Garrett will come back to this play, and he almost looks like he is smiling when he calls it. Tennessee LBs recognize and try to blow it up, but that makes the play even more dangerous if they miss - and they did. Look at the RG - 64 - Montrae Holland - doing his best Leonard Davis (even better than Leonard on this day) and he shows his athleticism is not as bad as I feared. The other thing that jumps out here is Felix's speed. I think this is a 7-8 yard gain if Marion is running it. But, the burst from Felix is exceptional here and he is able to hold off the defense for 34 big yards. A true explosive play.

The Play:Play #58 - 2/G/3 - "21" - Felix for 0 yards on Goalline

What Happened: Again, very similar play, but I believe this is more of a "quick hitting" play that you should take inside near the goal-line (as opposed to Felix's first instinct of breaking everything to the outside). But, same formation of the two plays above - except Chandler is not offset to the left. A true "I" formation. But, here is what happens if your Right Guard is having a horrible day. Wade Phillips actually said on Monday that when Leonard returned (after Holland was hurt) he did pretty well. I think this play suggests that Wade was being Wade. This is brutal and might have been one of the big reasons the Cowboys lost this game. With a chance to take the lead, I submit if he gets any piece of 55 - Tulloch, Jones gets in the end zone. Check :30 into the cut and tell me if you agree. But, Leonard whiffs (again) and the play is blown up and the Cowboys end up settling for 3. Killer. I suppose the Cowboys may have gone to the well once too many because the Titans appear much more prepared by now - after they have seen the play several times.

The Play: Play #19 - 21 1/10/47 - Romo +9

What Happened: This play was included only because of our many discussions on the maturation of Felix Jones, and the quest to use him more in more situations. Here he is being asked to get in a chip in pass protection on the Titans DE 95 - Hayes. Jim Nance calls it a blitz, but it is just a standard DE pass rush where Jones launches himself into Hayes and takes Hayes out of the play for Marc Colombo who has been having a rough time early in this game in his pass protection. This is a chip. The kind of chip that will get the offensive coaching staff to take notice that Felix can handle more responsibility if he is going to show this much conviction in things that do not involve carrying the football. Wonderful job.

The Play:Play #32 - S11 1/G/6 - TD Pass to Roy Williams

What Happened: This is a very standard play for the Cowboys in the red zone with S11 (1RB, 1TE, 3WR, Shotgun) that we see constantly. Trips to the left (although they run this to either side - later in the game they were going to run the play with Trips to the right, Dez on his own to the left - but Doug Free had a false start before they could snap it) and this forces all sorts of man power to that side from Tennessee. Another classic conflict where the defense dictates where Tony goes with the ball by how they decide to handle this situation. The read is Michael Griffin who you can see off Right Tackle trying to make Romo unsure of his intentions - is he blitzing or is he helping with Roy Williams? Once Romo figures he is blitzing, then the automatic read is to Roy on the fade over Cortland Finnegan who has really no chance at 5'10 to deal with that read. Short corners can do a lot of things in this league. Defending the fade is not one of them.

The Play:Play 35 - S11 3/4/31 - pass to Austin TD +69

What Happened:There are a number of ways to describe this play - and I suppose this shows how subjective this sport can be. Depending on who you root for we could say A) Tony Romo trusts Miles Austin to go make a play so much that he throws into coverage and knows his guy will come down with the ball or we could say B) Michael Griffin misplays this ball badly and if it wasn't for some luck, this is likely either an interception or a big hit on Austin in mid-air. Honestly, it was a huge play and part of being a QB in this league is trusting your receivers to go fight for the ball and make a play, but that was also a throw into double coverage with the safety with the range of Griffin being able to go meet the ball at the sideline. The Cowboys are in Max-Protect with a 7 man protection front with Barber and Witten to help make sure Romo has time to allow his 3 targets to get open, but Romo knew what he wanted to do before Gurode snapped the ball. Just an unreal play by a WR who is out of this world.

The Play:Play 68 - S01 1/10/18 - pass to Witten TD +18

What Happened: This seems like something I haven't seen before. S01 means no RB, 1 TE, and 4 WR. They are empty in the backfield which means Romo has Scat protection (merely the 5 OL - usually a perfect blitz opportunity). The Titans only rush 4 and the Cowboys appear to have pretty much everyone besides Roy running a vertical pattern into the end zone. As a secondary, you are not usually prepared for 4 verticals coming right at your zone, and I believe the idea here is for a quick read on the safeties to see who attracts a LB and who attracts a DB. As you can see from the video (and I wish they would have given us a better replay but instead we get celebration analysis) that Witten sees he is not being watched at about the 10 yard line and Romo spots him. An interesting concept that seems to work great against a zone concept because you are just overloading their coverage. They cannot watch everyone if everyone is going to the end zone.

You may be thinking after watching all of these - Didn't we lose this game? Yes, Interceptions and Sacks are not accounted for from this report. More on some of that tomorrow.

Tomorrow: Targets and Sacks for Week 3

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