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Everyone Spoke, Jason Garrett Listened

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    We aren't the type to say we told you so, but we were all over the key to the Cowboy turnaround last week.

    Oh, who are we trying to kid, we love to say we told you so. We'll even point out the places where we argued that the lack of a commitment to the running game was killing the Cowboys and then sit back and wait until you read them and bask in the glow of such analytical genius. Seriously, take your time, we'll be right here waiting for you.

    Pretty impressive, no? Be sure to tell your friends. For our next trick we'll get to the bottom of Shia LaBoeuf's inexplicable ascension to the top of the Hollywood food chain. It's probably got something to do with having an exotic name, but the full answer may shock us all.

    Back to the Cowboys, though. Jason Garrett must have done well in his Listening 101 seminar at Princeton, because the offensive coordinator heard the calls throughout the land for a different offensive approach and implemented the changes with the desired effect. That might surprise anyone who limits their view to the stat sheet, where you'll see that the Cowboys only averaged 3.7 yards per carry on Sunday. Hardly the kind of bonanza that should lead to the kind of back slapping that you read earlier in this post, but it isn't the whole story. 

    The whole story is the way that Garrett balanced the offense -- 30 passes and 27 rushes -- and the way he deployed the rushes. The Cowboys ran the ball on 12 of their first 26 plays and they did it out of a variety of formations, including the shotgun. That forced the Texans to take the threat of the ground game seriously, which meant they couldn't work to shore up their shaky secondary by loading up to stop the pass.

    When you have the kind of talent the Cowboys have on offense mixed with a scheme that makes it impossible to predict what they'll do on any given play, you've got something that works as well as it did on Sunday. There was a lot of talk about the need to discover an offensive identity last week, but it is really the opposite that's true.

    Being two faced is the real secret to their success. Maybe that's what's behind Shia LaBoeuf, too.  

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