Monday, January 03, 2011

Decoding Garrett - Videos - Week 16 - Eagles

Video Breakdowns:

Let's end our Tuesday tradition of the season by analyzing video on 6 key plays for the Cowboys offense on a day where there wasn't much to work with. I hope this has been an informative feature this season as we all try to expand our football brains together.

Thanks, Brian at DC for his help in getting the videos posted.

The Play:Play #3 3/13/17 - S11 - Pass to Austin +31

What Happened: The Cowboys converted 2 3rd Down passes on Sunday. This is the 1st one on Play #3 of the game. The other will be covered below on the game-winning TD to Jason Witten. Anyway, you know how they say that necessity is the mother of invention? Well check this out. The Cowboys will frequently attempt a WR screen pass, but it has been mostly Dez Bryant and Kevin Ogletree in the last few years. But, here, with Miles Austin, Manny Johnson, and Roy Williams, I guess they thought they should try it with Austin since they wanted to keep this game plan as easy and safe as possible. But, this is a thing of beauty. First, Manny Johnson's block and McGee's throw are timed perfectly. We take that for granted, but this is all timing based. Then, Free and Kosier get on their men quick, and the play works so well that the rest of the OL is there to help soon, too. This is really nicely executed and the Cowboys get a huge chunk of yardage on a very safe throw.


The Play:Play #15 - 1/10/17 - 21 - Jones +20

What Happened: I show you this next play as a bit of a rarity. It is Felix Jones turning a 3 yard gain into a 20 yard gain. This is a basic lead play where the Cowboys get it blocked, but not with any sort of conviction. For instance, Colombo's man is off of the block and back on Felix pretty quickly. But, here we see Felix shedding blocks and making a play on his own with his strength and his quickness through the hole. Not every play is going to have a hole you can drive a truck through, so you count on your RB to occasionally make something out of nothing. Felix needs to do this more, but at some point, now after 3 seasons, we should realize that this isn't much of a strength for him.


The Play:Play #26 - 1/10/14 - 22 - Jones +13

What Happened: So, if the last play was Felix making something out of nothing, this play is the offense looking like a competent crew that can run the rock a little bit. If you follow this feature every week, you know my love for "22" heavy personnel ground and pound. Look at this play a few times, and you will see a text book example of what I mean. This is pretty. TE Witten in motion to the left and the lead FB Gronkowski both work together to really get this play blocked up nicely. If done properly, they can outnumber you at the point of attack, and then you see Felix almost untouched into the secondary. You would like to think on a play like this that it doesn't matter which RB is in the game, this should move the chains. Very dominant looking play here.


The Play:Play #28 - 2/9/28 - 13 - Pass to Austin +31

What Happened: First, understand that "13" and "22" is pretty close to the same thing, except that "22" has a FB, where "13" has 3 TEs at the line of scrimmage. They both have the 1 WR in common and this forces you to usually go man-to-man with that flanker, and to man up with Witten at TE. As you recall, this was the issue at different times in different packages with a single-high safety (as the other safety is up to stop the run because of the "power" personnel the offense has on the field). So, it is a 3 against 2 concept, and wherever the safety goes, the QB goes the other way. Easy for me to say, as McGee is staring down a monster blitz from the Eagles that might even look like "Cover 0" at the snap. Trevard Lindley is a rookie corner from Kentucky, and Miles has a situation where he - as Siragusa says - can just run under any throw that McGee makes. McGee's throw is certainly not a dart, but it gets it done for his only completion of the day that was more than 5 yards down the field at the point of the catch. Not pretty, but plenty effective.


The Play:Play #59 - 2/10/44 - S11 - Pass to Witten +33

What Happened: We always talk about how a QB needs to "go through his reads" when the ball is snapped, except we never know what those reads are. But, most plays start with the most basic inside read, and with the Cowboys, that inside read for years has been #82 Jason Witten. A large percentage of the time his short or long vertical route is bracketed with a LB underneath and a safety over the top, but in this case, it looks like the Eagles - partly because they have many reserves in the game - appear to have forgotten that Witten is Witten. A blocking TE can be played soft, but Witten right of the snap is open and McGee makes his easiest throw since warm-ups. From there, this is a lot of Witten desire and very few Eagles having much of a plan for bringing him down. We do not want to underestimate the impact of Manny Johnson's block at the 12 yard line, but let's be honest - this is a pretty sorry job by Philadelphia tackling, and that turns an 8 yard gain into a 33 yard gain.


The Play:Play #62 - 3/3/4 - S11 - TD to Witten

What Happened: On this play, I am going to blame the Eagles for doing something that is not overly sound defensively. They bring their traditional "Double-A-Gap" blitz on 3rd and 3 from 4. Why is this crazy? Because the hot routes on 3rd and 3 are going to work. If you bring this blitz on 3rd and 13, you don't mind the dump to the TE for 5 yards. But, if you do it on 3rd and goal, it is an easy pitch and catch for the TD. McGee recognizes that if he throws it right, even if Witten is properly covered, 82 will still make the catch. He is and he does. TD. The call from the Eagles is so unsound that you kind of wonder if they wanted the Cowboys to slide in the draft! Just kidding. Sort of.


Tomorrow: Targets and Sacks for Week 15

Bob Sturm is host of BaD Radio on The Ticket 1310 AM Mondays through Fridays at 12-3 p.m. He also hosts The Ticket's Cowboys pregame show. Follow Bob on Twitter at
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