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Cowboys Running Game (with Diagrams)

 
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AlexGreen#20


Joined: 13 Jun 2012
Posts: 5508
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: Cowboys Running Game (with Diagrams) Reply with quote

Posted this on the GB but figured it was just as relevant, if not more so, here.

I donít have any classes today and was pondering what happened to the Cowboys running game that was so lethal when they had their starting backfield healthy. So, I went through and diagrammed the big play that gained them so many yards against the Rams. Demarco Murray absolutely murdered them on a combination ISO run/delayed draw which I found to be a pretty damn interesting combination.

And yet as interesting as it is, itís not a particularly good play because it requires the defense to make a ton of mistakes if itís going to go for big yardage. Itís a play that even if itís blocked perfectly it may be a gain of nothing if the defense plays it even moderately competently.

Here's the actual play. I apologize for the quality and the music but it was the best I could find.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17y6VgC4HsQ&t=0m9s

Hereís the chalk-up of the play:



Now the first big screwup, comes from the playside Defensive Tackle who starts out here:



And ends up here



Because he finds himself so drastically out of position, this is the hole that Demarco Murray has to work with.



Sadly enough, weíre not even close to done, demonstrating the Rams defenseís screw-ups here.

Iíd like to introduce everybody to the Rams LBs of last year. All three are frozen like deer in the headlights off of Romoís dropback, not sure if they should play the run, or drop back into coverage. Had they done either, this play isnít a huge gain, instead theyíre frozen completely. Note the Fullback gaining a full head of steam, that's going to hurt the Rams badly in a second.



The worst play was made by the WILL Linebacker who attacked the entirely wrong hole and runs straight into a block that he doesnít get off of until itís way too late. It would be one thing if the Cowboys Offensive Line blocked this well, but the Left Guard plays it lackadaisically and lazy. The two players meet lazily like they have a dinner date or something.

The SAM Linebacker just gets blocked by the split out Tight End, and doesnít even get close to getting off the block. The effort was pathetic, and the execution was almost as bad.

Now we get to Lauranitas and I call him out by name because heís the only player on the Ramís side of this play that even vaguely resembles relevance in the grand scheme of the NFL. The man just freezes which is the absolute worst thing he couldíve done. The proper play is to charge forward and meet the Fullback in the hole. Itís a lot like the Thumperís role in a 3-4, to be the fullback of the defense, to stalemate the leadblocker in the hole so that the RB has nowhere to run and your own guys can come free. Lauranitas takes on the block, the problem is that because he froze and the fullback has a full head of steam, heís late. He takes on the Fullback outside of the hole. Heís not clogging the hole, heís just getting blocked. There arenít any teammates coming from behind to make the play anyway because the Rams OLBs were/are awful, but maybe if he forces Murray to cut, the Safeties might make a play and prevent a Touchdown.



Because everybody on defense screwed up, Murray hits the third level without having been touched or forced to change direction significantly. A great play by a Safety might have saved it but this is last yearís Rams weíre talking about. Murray walks into the endzone totally untouched
throughout the entire play.

If the Rams play this properly, Lauranitas and the FB meet in the red zone and the Defensive Tackle and the guard are fighting in the blue zone. This would fill the hole and force Murray to go elsewhere with the ball rather than up the middle completely untouched.



What weíre seeing this year is that teams have figured the play out. Defensive Tackles are staying home on it and Linebackers are filling appropriately. Itís a ďtrickĒ play thatís been used a few too many times and is no longer effective. The problem is that Jason Garret doesnít view it that way apparently because it continues to be the Cowboys most commonly called run play.

A smart coach would try and design an effective play action counter to take advantage when Linebackers get pulled up to stop it. Getting the TE thatís blocking behind the MIKE thatís charging forward could yield some big yards and would hopefully freeze the MIKE so that Garretís Delayed Power Draw could get yards again.

=========================

Good thread, bad thread, do more?

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flyingmonkey30


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Joined: 04 Mar 2007
Posts: 6427
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good work man, that was a good breakdown
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Tha King


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt our struggles in the running game are due to Garrett not getting creative enough with the run game.We can't run the ball because our lineman and Fullback are struggling to run-block,you could literally put them in any formation and they'll likely still struggle.
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Dboys88-82


Joined: 12 Jan 2011
Posts: 1761
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tha King wrote:
I doubt our struggles in the running game are due to Garrett not getting creative enough with the run game.We can't run the ball because our lineman and Fullback are struggling to run-block,you could literally put them in any formation and they'll likely still struggle.


I know we havent had the best olines, but we have also never had a consitent run game from week to week with garrett playcalling.
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AlexGreen#20


Joined: 13 Jun 2012
Posts: 5508
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tha King wrote:
I doubt our struggles in the running game are due to Garrett not getting creative enough with the run game.We can't run the ball because our lineman and Fullback are struggling to run-block,you could literally put them in any formation and they'll likely still struggle.


That's sort of the point. The interior of your line is straight garbage. That fact hasn't changed from this year to last year.

Last year, however, Garret was able to work around that. By being creative he created a situation where he let the strength of the passing game assist the running game.

This year, teams aren't falling for it anymore. So it's back to man on man where you're not going to have any success.
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Rtnldave


Joined: 10 Feb 2008
Posts: 2861
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AlexGreen#20 wrote:
Tha King wrote:
I doubt our struggles in the running game are due to Garrett not getting creative enough with the run game.We can't run the ball because our lineman and Fullback are struggling to run-block,you could literally put them in any formation and they'll likely still struggle.


That's sort of the point. The interior of your line is straight garbage. That fact hasn't changed from this year to last year.

Last year, however, Garret was able to work around that. By being creative he created a situation where he let the strength of the passing game assist the running game.

This year, teams aren't falling for it anymore. So it's back to man on man where you're not going to have any success.



You should be sending this Garrett. Nice work.
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