How about a ‘win friendly’ offense?
Ever since Cowboys owner Jerry Jones uttered the term “Romo-friendly” offense back in 2009, the saying has taken on a life of its own. A life that has now followed Romo’s successor Dak Prescott.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones on @1053thefan said since the season ended, they've discussed how to make Dallas' offense more Dak Prescott-friendly. "Everybody here is all-in in terms of their belief that Dak can be a great player in this league and will be."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 8, 2018
It was just a few weeks ago vice president Stephen Jones stated that Prescott was running a “Romo-friendly” offense for the past two seasons.
— Mark Lane (@therealmarklane) January 8, 2018
Whether it is Dak friendly or Romo friendly, both terms are overblown and overused when discussing the offense. The reality is any offense should be tailored to its quarterback. Taking advantage of your signal caller’s strengths makes his life easier, which in return results in success.
There are three very good examples of this that played out over the past two seasons with young quarterbacks in the same draft class as Prescott.
Carson Wentz, who was on his way to an MVP season, saw his franchise get aggressive and surround him with more help than he had his rookie year. Not only did the Eagles do this personnel-wise, but they also altered their scheme to best suit Wentz’s game. With the offense tailored more to his strengths combined with the personnel upgrade, we saw a young quarterback put on a historic sophomore campaign. His natural development played a big part as well, but without his franchise committing to upgrading we probably don’t see an MVP caliber performance.
Jared Goff is another young quarterback that saw his franchise surround him with more help while also tailoring the offense to best suit him. Sean McVay brought in wideouts and offensive lineman that fit his scheme. McVay was literally in Goff’s ear each play telling him what would work. The results were outstanding as questions surrounding Goff after his rookie season evaporated during his sophomore campaign. With help, he led them to a division title for the first time in over a decade.
You may be asking at this point “well what is the third example?” That would be the Cowboys very own Dak Prescott during his 2016 campaign.
In 2016 once Romo went down, Scott Linehan knew he couldn’t run the same exact offense completely tailored to a 14-year veteran with a rookie quarterback. Therefore he adapted and threw in a number of wrinkles that took advantage of Prescott’s strengths. In return, Prescott delivered a historic season. While the scheme wasn’t entirely tailored to Prescott, it was shifted enough that the league had a tough time with it.
What we didn’t hear was ‘Wentz friendly’, ‘Goff friendly’ or even ‘Dak friendly'(at the time) in those campaigns. The necessary adjustments were made and that was that. In 2017, the Cowboys coaching staff didn’t continue to build on those adjustments that were made in 2016, instead, they almost regressed. This was made evident by the concerns voiced by players and coaches when the season ended.
Now, as the team approaches the offseason the talk of tweaking the offense has come up which rekindled the term ‘Dak friendly’. Again, in reality, all that means is tailoring the offense to your quarterback’s strengths and building a buffer that helps mitigate his weaknesses. The result is positive production on the field. I would call that a ‘win friendly’ offense.