The Cowboys don’t have a great group of wide receivers, but they feel like running Dak Prescott can help them produce more big plays.
No one should expect the Cowboys to start letting Dak Prescott run the ball 25 or 30 times a game, but his opportunities to run the football should increase in the coming weeks. Scott Linehan and the Dallas coaching staff say they’re genuinely committed to giving their quarterback a bigger role in the Cowboys’ ground game.
Specifically, Linehan calls Prescott’s ability to run the ball a “big boost” for the offense. He doesn’t want to overwork his quarterback by calling 15 designed runs per game. Instead, he wants Prescott’s ground load to occur naturally. Linehan wants his signal caller to take advantage of what the defense gives him. That will include a healthy mix of called runs and taking off on passing plays when his receivers fail to get open.
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, Prescott gets far too many opportunities to run when his receivers are covered. That group arguably doesn’t feature a quality NFL starter. Oftentimes, a run from the quarterback is the best chance the Dallas offense has to bust a big play down the field.
It’s still a risk for the organization every time Prescott is exposed to a hit. The offense isn’t dynamic currently, but it would completely fall apart if they’re forced to go with Cooper Rush or Mike White under center. Neither player is capable of leading this offense to much success in 2018.
On the other hand, given their 3-3 record, it might be now or never for the Cowboys to try to make a playoff push. If they can’t find a way to forge a more dynamic offense in the next week or two, it could be too late. Running Prescott more helped them dominate a pretty talented Jaguars defense last week. That trend will need to continue if Dallas is going to compete for an NFC East title.
In the end, running Prescott a lot isn’t the perfect plan for an NFL offense, but it’s the best plan available for the Cowboys. Look for the Dallas to live or die with Dak’s success on the ground for the remainder of the season. It should work as long as Prescott can stay on the field.