Every time Cowboys’ offensive coordinator Scott Lineman sends out a play call for extra tight ends or offensive linemen, fans everywhere gasp in frustration. It easy to impress casual-fan friends by predicting an inside handoff to Ezekiel Elliott every other first-down play. This vanilla offensive scheme has left fans wanting to try a new flavor of offense every once in awhile.
Hilariously though, that vanilla plan may find itself a home in the most important game to date of Dallas’ 2018 season. Criticism aside, the Cowboys would be wise to attack the Los Angeles defense using extra blockers on Saturday night. Graham Barfield of NFL.com expanded upon this thought. The Rams play a very diverse scheme, led by former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips. While diverse, the Cowboys can use their personnel formations to simplify how the Rams defense will line up.
If Dallas elects to go run-heavy out of 2-tight end or 6-OL sets, the Rams would have to match the Cowboys heavier package and, in theory, align in 4-3 or 3-4 defense. Ezekiel Elliott will be a tough man to stop in this scenario. During the regular season, the Rams allowed a gargantuan 4.8 yards per carry aligned in 4-3 (second-most) and 5.0 YPC aligned in 3-4 (most).
Everyone knows what kind of player defensive tackle Aaron Donald is, but the team can’t be afraid of running the ball down his and the rest of Los Angeles defense’s throats. Dallas coach Jason Garrett and Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips know each other well. Garrett also has experience coaching against Rams head coach Sean McVay, who was offensive coordinator in Washington between 2014 and 2016. Both teams should be ready and excited to scheme against each other on Saturday.
Keeping the ball away from Todd Gurley and the Rams’ offense must be a goal on Saturday. The best way to keep the Rams offense off the field is to establish the run game. Running out of jumbo packages may finally be the team’s best option against Aaron Donald and the Rams. Utilizing Ezekiel Elliott repeatedly can run the Cowboys right into the NFC Championship game.
Jared Wingate, Cowboys Wired