Garrett Addresses Short Yardage Struggles

The key to solving the Cowboys' (and Marion Barber's) short yardage woes of late, according to Jason Garrett, is variety, and, in his words, evaluation.

This is somewhat puzzling, as in the case of last week's game at Washington and--even more baffling--three weeks ago against San Diego, variety hasn't exactly been the modus operandi for Garrett's offense when situations such as these arise. Barber was shut out on two fourth-and-ones against Washington and on three consecutive runs from the 1-yard-line against the Bolts.

If the reader wishes to see some evidence of 'variety' in these short-yardage situations (or, I suppose, the lack thereof), he or she need look no further than the comments of Chargers' linebacker Tim Dobbins, following the week 14 match-up.

"I don't know what they were thinking but after the second time you gotta think, 'don't run that play no more.'" Dobbins said of the second quarter goal line stand. "I don't know if they watched film or what."

That is, under "evaluation," it seems obvious that more "variety" in short yardage situations is called for; which leads us back to Garrett's discussion of the situation yesterday.

"We've done a variety of things and have to keep doing a variety of things to be successful at it," Garrett said. "You don't want to make it too easy on the defense certainly. On short-yardage situations we've been successful handing it to the deep back, successful handing it to the fullback and quarterback sneak as well. That's got to be a part of the arsenal and it is part of it."

What's remarkable about Garrett's comments is that he is simultaneously listing the potential remedies for the team's struggles in this area and insisting that they are, and have been, in place. As far as quarterback sneaks and "handing it to the fullback, we can't remember the last time Romo was used in such a scenario, and Deon Anderson--who, last time we checked, was the fullback--hasn't had a rushing attempt since week 14 of last year.

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