The one thing that stands out with Garrett’s new offense was the ability to disguise plays. You’re not ever quite sure of the Cowboys are going to run. As stated in previous posts, the Cowboys are not going to display the full gamut in their offensive schemes in the preseason; however, the Cowboys may have showed off a new found power in Anthony Fasano. You can call Fasano’s use in the passing game against the Colts a “shot over the bow” for the rest of the NFC East.
Coach Phillips commented on the use of Witten and Fasano in this new offense:
“If both of those guys can do both jobs, then defenses won’t know the strength of the formation,” Phillips said. “They’ll just have to guess.”
Romo has also commented on Fasano by saying:
“He did a great job,” Romo said of Fasano, a second-year player from Notre Dame.
“He’s had a good camp,” Romo added, “and I think (tight ends coach) John Garrett has done wonders for him. I expect him to be a good contributor this season for sure.”
Witten was used briefly against the Colts, but the Cowboys plan on utilizing and exposing defenses by forcing them to account for the tight ends. The tight ends had a big day, so its a preview of things to come for sure. Now, defenders will need to account for Witten and Fasano. Only in his 2nd year, other teams may not even see Fasano as a threat, but he was a big weapon in Notre Dame, and he’ll be used in Dallas in the same way.
Parcells drafted Fasano in the 2nd round to help the offense employ a two-tight end set, unfortunately, this was never utilized in the passing game. It was used more in the running game, and it worked. But, why limit the set to just blocking? Garrett is taking this same set, and evolving it into a key component in the passing game. Just as the Cowboys used Novacek in the ’90s. Only difference is, we have one Pro Bowl franchise tight end in Witten, and one very good quality tight end in Fasano; a virtual one-two punch. Can you imagine? Fasano comments on the difference in strategy between last year and this year:
“It’s a way for us to keep our offensive strategy hidden,” Fasano said. “Defenses won’t know if it’s a run or a pass.”
The Cowboys will now enjoy the best tight end tandem in the league. These guys can catch, block, and they can take the big hit. Parcells drafted them for all these reasons. These are some bad dudes, unlike like the other injury prone overrated tight ends in this league, these guys can be reliable and play injured, just ask Witten who at one time was playing with wires in his jaw.
The fullback position has taken a back seat in this new offense, and continues to show how dynamic Garrett is in his alignment creations. It was expected that Garrett would go back to a Moose Johnston FB, passing, blocking type set, but with the talent we have on the team, Garrett has evolved this into his own scheme. He’s taken a bit of everything he’s learned and continues to build on it with his own twist.
The defensive players are excited to play in the attacking Phillips 3-4 and the offensive players are equally excited about playing in Garrett’s offense. You can see it on the sideline.
“We wanted to go out there and play loose and not worry about making mistakes and playing tentative,” Fasano said. “A lot of the guys in the offense did that, and it showed.
“It was a sign of things to come.” (mysa.com)
The passenger restraints have been disabled, and the Cowboys offense is ready to rumble over the rest of the NFC East. You guys are on notice.