Is The “Wildcat” Coming To Dallas?

The offense has gained popularity in the NFL in recent years

It was last week that Jerry Jones first hinted that the Cowboys may feature a wildcat-style look in the offense next year, all while retaining the verbal ambiguity for which he is known.

Could the Cowboys be going after West Virginia quarterback Pat White? Maybe. Could former Washington quarterback and current Cowboys receiver Isaiah Stanback fill the role? Maybe.

Jerry never lets on too much.

"We may want to do some things in our offense this year with a third quarterback," Jones said. "That's something other than be there as a backup to the second quarterback and be there in case you lose all the quarterbacks ... We could hopefully find a quarterback with a set of skills that we could put some packages in for."

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It should be interesting to say the least. Jason Garrett’s system was criticized heavily last season for its seeming inability to adjust mid-game and, at times, a lack of creativity.

Now, with the Cowboys maybe eyeing Pat White (who, by the way, has been lauded at the combine for his versatility) and maybe looking at Isaiah Stanback as a third quarterback, it looks, at this extremely early juncture, that there will be some form of the wildcat in the offense in some capacity in 2009.  

The wildcat is a variation of the single-wing set that has gained popularity at both the college and pro level in recent years.

More or less, the key to the wildcat is an able runner playing the quarterback position. In most cases, in the NFL, at least, said player has been a running back. The Panthers featured a version of the wildcat in 2006, when DeAngelo Williams lined up in a shotgun formation.

The offensive coordinator, at the time, was Dan Henning, who brought the offense to Miami in 2008, where Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams took snaps.

The success of the offense in Miami inspired other teams, and the wildcat was used, in some form, by several other teams, including Oakland, New England and Arizona in 2008.

With an off-season to study the offense, it’s likely that more copycats will emerge in 2009, Dallas included, regardless of whether or not they draft White.

Stanback insists that he can still play quarterback, and that he can regain his once impressive arm strength with relative ease. Jones will not rule out Stanback as an option in the role, though he says he doesn’t want to hinder his development as a receiver.

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