Breaking Down the ‘Boys: How to fix the Cowboys’ red zone offense, Part III

I’ve spent the better part of the week examining the Cowboys’ 2012 red zone offense and suggesting ways they could potentially improve, including running more often inside the 10 and emphasizing Dez Bryant over Jason Witten. Today’s suggestion might be a little more controversial: getting the rookies involved right from the start.

Dallas made an obvious effort to select who they believed to be the best players available in tight end Gavin Escobar, wide receiver Terrance Williams, and running back Joseph Randle. While I think it’s unlikely that any of those players will make a significant overall impact in 2013, I do believe that the trio can combine for somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 touchdowns because they’re all suited to excel in the red zone.

Although Escobar has moderate 4.84 speed, you have to love his 6-6 height and nearly 34-inch arms. Height is by far the best predictor of success for tight ends, and it should serve Escobar well in the red zone. He converted 13.9 percent of his college catches into touchdowns.

The same goes for Williams. While he’s certainly a deep threat, Williams also has good size at 6-2, 208 pounds. Miles Austin has the same sort of size—even thicker—but he’s proven to be a sub-par red zone receiver, as you can see below.

Austin offers the Cowboys a lot of positives, but he’s not necessarily as equipped at fighting for the ball in traffic as Williams. The rookie has some of the best ball skills of any first-year receiver who came out this year.

And while I much prefer DeMarco Murray over Randle as an all-around back, Randle was outstanding at finding the end zone in college. He scored on 7.1 percent of his carries—and outstanding mark—while facing stiff competition in the Big 12.

So while the majority of the offensive work will be performed by the same old faces, the Cowboys might benefit from getting the youngsters on the field in the red zone. If Escobar, Williams, and Randle can post double-digit scores in 2013, it will go a long way in helping the ‘Boys get to where they want to go.

By: Jonathan Bales
Breaking Down the ‘Boys: How to fix the Cowboys’ red zone offense, Part III Breaking Down the ‘Boys: How to fix the Cowboys’ red zone offense, Part III Reviewed by Mr. DCStands4 on 11:29:00 AM Rating: 5

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