Breakdown of the Seahawks-Cowboys Offensive Failures

Shane Roper-USA TODAY Sports

Hello everyone, we’re talking about the Cowboys loss enough that I went back and watched the condensed version. I’ll put my caveats up-front: I am a football Neanderthal who barely understands the most basic concepts, and I’ve been a partial defender of Schotty these past few days (i.e. he deserves some blame, but not the majority).

With that in mind, I present my interpretation of what happened on each of the Seahawks’ eight failed drives this game (drives that ended with zero points) so we can try to figure out what tendencies the drives revealed, and who was responsible for their failure.

My conclusions looking at the information below are fourfold:

1. Our offensive line got beat physically, and our blocking was generally not great. Multiple holds by Seahawks linemen went uncalled.

2. The narrative that Carroll waits to establish the run before going to play action is suspect.

3. "Run run pass" isn’t as common as it seems, it just sticks out when it fails. Sometimes when it fails, it’s not because the defence knows what’s coming, it’s because players fail to execute on their assignments.

4. At least sometimes, these dump-offs to the flats on 3rd and long are checkdowns by Wilson, not surrender plays by Schotty.

Drive 1 (RRP)

Successful run for 4 yards on 1st and 10.

Failed run: the Cowboys’ front four beat our O-line and stood up Carson at the line.

Failed pass: the Cowboys’ D-line immediately flushes Wilson out of the pocket, and he fails to make the throw to Lockett on the sideline.

Drive 2 (PRP)

Failed play action. Wilson doesn’t see anybody open downfield, and is forced by D-line pressure to dump it off to Carson, who’s drilled well behind the line of scrimmage.

Run on 2nd and 18 for 5 yards.

Passing attempt, but nobody came open and Wilson was flushed out of the pocket fairly quickly for a minimal QB run.

Drive 3 (RRP)

Successful run for 4 yards on 1st and 10.

Failed run: it’s to the left against a seven-man box. There was a blocker for every defender on the play side, so I’m not confident of what I’m seeing here, but it looks like either a play design issue, or Cowboys defenders on the backside of the play causing enough traffic on the line that the play-side blockers couldn’t get to their assigned defenders in time to spring Carson.

Failed pass: total protection failure, a pass rusher gets to Wilson immediately.

Drive 4 (PPR)

Seahawks had excellent field position, but only 16 seconds left in the half.

Successful pass for 4 yards on 1st and 10.

Successful pass for 3 yards on 2nd and 6.

Successful run for 3 yards on 3rd and 3.

Even with timeouts, there’s nothing left on the clock. 57-yard kick misses, in part because it’s 57 yards but also because Janikowski (in my opinion) isn't in the kind of shape he could have been in. Farewell, Kegboy.

Drive 5 (RRP)

Failed run. There were nine defenders in the box, don’t ask me why you’d want to run it. Blame goes to Schotty.

Failed run. Highly suspect blocking by Britt and Vannett. Britt appears to stumble off the line and misses his block. Vannett pulls across the formation, arrives at his designated position, and lets a guy run right by him. Those were the two Cowboys who tackled Carson.

Failed pass. Wilson had Lockett and time to throw. Either the pass was a little high or Lockett was a little slow to the spot.

Drive 6 (PR, R, RPP)

Successful play action. Wilson doesn’t see anybody open downfield, forced to dump it off to Dickson, who picks up 9.

Successful run by Carson, first down.

Successful run by Penny, first down.

Failed run. Dickson whiffs badly on a block, and the defender blows up Penny deep in the backfield. 2nd and 17.

Failed pass. Carson drops it.

Surrender pass to Vannett for about four yards on 3rd and 17 – it was clearly the designed pass, too. Blame Schotty.

Drive 7 (RPP)

Failed run. Fant elects not to block his man on the backside of the play at all and goes charging upfield. Whoever Sweezy was attempting to block throws him bodily out of the way. Those two defenders tackle Carson.

Successful play action picks up 5.

Deep shot by Wilson to Lockett broken up by the Cowboys secondary.

Drive 8 (PPPP)

Successful play action picks up 6. Holding by the O-line brings it back. 1st and 20.

Successful pass, but a blatant block in the back proves costly. 2nd and 22.

Successful pass, but it’s to the flats and picks up only 2 yards. Wilson took his time looking downfield first, so I think at least one, if not two preferred deep routes were covered.

Successful pass, picks up 13, which is a smaller number than 20. Punt.