Dallas Cowboys

Jason Garrett: Cowboys will stick to convictions despite offensive futility

Here are the top playmakers from the Chargers’ 28-6 win over the Cowboys

Quarterback Phillip Rivers was sharp and so were the Los Angeles Chargers in their 28-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium.
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Quarterback Phillip Rivers was sharp and so were the Los Angeles Chargers in their 28-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium.

Jason Garrett isn’t going to make any drastic changes to try and spark a Dallas Cowboys’ offense that has hit a level of ineptness never seen before in franchise history.

Garrett shot down the notion of taking control of play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, and vowed to remain true to his coaching convictions even though the offense has scored fewer than 10 points in three consecutive games.

“Certainly we’re always looking at ourselves and things that we can do better, but our convictions as a coaching staff, or as a football team, really won’t change,” Garrett said on a conference call Friday.

“You’re looking for different ways to implement things. You self-scout. You do a lot of different things week by week to give your team the best chance possible. But the core convictions about how you win ballgames? They remain intact.”

Scoring more points is the No. 1 way to get the Cowboys to a more respectable place. Thursday’s 28-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers extended a level of futility that has never happened in this organization before.

Not even the 2001 team had that sort of drought when the Cowboys averaged 15.4 points game (30th in the league) and rolled through a quartet of quarterbacks — Ryan Leaf, Anthony Wright, Quincy Carter and Clint Stoerner.

Or the 2002 team that averaged 13.6 points a game (31st in the league) with Carter and Chad Hutchinson at quarterback.

Or just two years ago when the Cowboys averaged 17.2 points a game (31st in the league) with backup QBs Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore combining to go 1-11 in place of an injured Tony Romo.

“We’re not a good team right now,” owner Jerry Jones said on his 105.3 The Fan radio show Friday.

“I really will tell you — and this is some hopeful but it’s also some factual — we can really salvage this thing.

“I look at our schedule, I look at where we are with our talent. I’ve seen it before — I’ve seen these guys play at levels, each one of them individually, that allows me to think this way. If I’ve never seen it, then that would be different on an individual basis or as a team.”

Salvaging what has essentially become a lost season may be wishful thinking on Jones’ part. After all, MakeNFLPlayoffs.com has given the Cowboys a 7.2 percent chance of making the postseason, a number that some may feel is too generous.

Jones is right, though, in thinking that this group has the ability to at least put on a more respectable performance. Sure, the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott — the reigning rushing champ — has been a blow to the Cowboys, as well as playing without All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith for two games.

But the drop-off in production without Elliott has been stunning. This is a team that was averaging the fourth-most points in the league (28.3 points per game) going into the Atlanta Falcons game earlier this month.

How fast things can turn in the NFL. The Cowboys have dropped to being the 15th-ranked scoring offense in a matter of three games.

Garrett pointed to the lack of explosive plays as a reason for the offensive struggles. The Cowboys had just three, including one courtesy of a penalty, in Thursday’s game compared to the Chargers’ 11.

“When you don’t make as many explosive plays, your chances of scoring are that much more compromised,” Garrett said. “We simply have to generate some explosiveness offensively. If we can do that, I think that gives us a much better chance of scoring points.

“We’ll continue to work as an offensive staff, as a group of coaches, to try to find ways to put our players in the best position to consistently drive the ball and make some big plays and score some points.”

Drew Davison: 817-390-7760, @drewdavison

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