Cowboys Draft Weekly Notebook – Episode 2 – Linehan and Aaron Donald
I realize this is a slight departure from strict draft previewing and such activities, but surely the coaching developments at Valley Ranch all connect and relate to what we are attempting to do here in preparation for May. That said, the Cowboys bringing in Scott Linehan to assist in the most confusing spiderweb of offensive coaches and philosophies in the NFL continues to take shape. Meanwhile, of greater headlines and lesser impact, Rod Marinelli takes over as the defensive coordinator at the present, something this blog has been suggesting he was already doing. And perhaps the most "Jerry" move of them all, Monte Kiffin and Bill Callahan appear to be still employed with the Cowboys and will continue to serve in some capacity that is certainly vague, which confounds all involved.
Now, I do not believe in the wishbone, the veer, or any ridiculous running to extreme that is sure to anger any advanced metrics folks. In fact, I consider myself one of them. But, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the sport of football is one of disposition and attitude at its core. You cannot watch the Seahawks and 49ers take over the NFC with this bully-football and ignore it. There has to be some recognition that physicality is still alive and well in the NFL and it is still a blocking and tackling league.
I am sorry, but dropping back into shotgun and pass protection play after play is like a boxer who is never allowed to attack. He must simply accept punishment as an offensive lineman and never dish it out. I don’t like that and I never have. I also don’t believe that many great coaches believe in it either. Yes, this is a passing league and the numbers have never been higher. So, why then, did Seattle and San Francisco take over the conference without a QB who can throw for 200 yards on a regular basis?
Smash-Mouth-Football. Offensively and Defensively. They are going to make you cry.
Can the Cowboys mimic this?
Or should they do just the opposite?
Here is the run/pass balance for the last 5 season for Scott Linehan in Detroit, Jason Garrett in Dallas, and the NFL average for playoff teams. We should obviously dig deeper on this topic, but here are just broad, general numbers based on the question, does this team run the ball?
Well, by rankings, many of them between 30th-32nd in the league, Linehan might be one of the few NFL coaches that values the run less than even Garrett. Now, there, of course, are personnel considerations and you can see how Reggie Bush being brought into Detroit affected their conviction level substantially, but overall, you can see that these guys feel like the running game is an overall nuisance as it pertains to their ideal view of football.
|Year||Linehan – Det||Garrett – Dal||NFL Playoff Avg|
|2009||39.4% Run||42.7% Run||44.3% Run|
|2010||38.0% Run||41.4% Run||43.9% Run|
|2011||33.6% Run||40.1% Run||43.5% Run|
|2012||33.7% Run||33.8% Run||45.2% Run|
|2013||40.4% Run||35.1% Run||44.3% Run|
But, we all know our opinions change plenty between now and May 8.