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September 10, 2013

The Cowboys are participating in the league's move to the fast-break offense, getting in 74 plays

NFL teams are copying the colleges and running uptempo offenses. The Patriots led the league in plays per game (74.4) and in scoring average (34.8) a year ago.  

On Sunday, the Cowboys ran 74 plays.

A year ago, Dallas averaged 65.6 a game, which was third-most since Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989. Only the 2005 (66.9) and '03 (66.4) teams got in more plays in a season over the past 24 seasons.

"The more the better, obviously," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "We think that’s a good thing. There is no question about that. I think when you take the ball away as much as we did in the game, you’re going to get more opportunities. In the second half, when we took it away. We ran it back for touchdowns, so you get fewer opportunities in that instance. It’s good to be able to control the football. When we have the ball in our hands, by definition, they don’t have the ball. Eli Manning is on the sidelines. So the opportunity for us to score and good things to happen for us are increased, but we don’t have a number we shoot for."

The Eagles,under new coach Chip Kelly, averaged the most plays in the preseason with 74.2. They had 53 in the first half Monday night against the Redskins, which was more than the Carolina Panthers had Sunday in four quarters against the Seahawks. The Eagles finished with 77 offensive plays.

"The red ball -- it’s called red ball -- they just attack you," Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher said last week. "If they know you’re a good defense and you can really get to the quarterback, they try to wear you down early in the game, so you won’t have nothing left in the fourth quarter."

-- Charean Williams




74.2 -- The Eagles’ offensive plays per game in the preseason in Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense, which led the league. The Patriots averaged 74.4 plays per game last season to lead the league. In Andy Reid’s West Coast offense, the Eagles averaged 67.4 plays last season.




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