As you know I am a big fan of Dallas. I am very obsessed with them. I haven't sprung for the Satelite dish so i can see all 16 games they play, but I take notice when I watch them play on national TV. I follow Chan Gailey's playcalling tedencies. Although Gailey was a QB, as well as a QB coach, he is most famous for being the dude to get Kordell Stewart to play great (Kordell struggled when Chan left the Steelers). Everyone thinks he is a passing guru, when in fact he is simply SMART about setting up passes with the running game. That's where it all starts... I run the ball frequently (It keeps the Defense honest). Second, I don't throw a ton of deep balls, as Troy doesnt really do, unless he has to, or unless they're just taking a shot at the endzone to catch the other team off guard. And when I do throw it deep... a lot of fades are used. I know they aren't easy to complete because momentum carries the reciever outta bounds a lot, but there is no way the DB can pick it off, and INTs can really shift the balance of a game... avoid them at all costs when your QB is on the field.
My secret is medium ranged passes. I don't mean West Coast offense (screen pass offense). Avoid screen passes, if the other team has a good quick LB core, or if they have one of those MLB beasts who always seems to sniff out the ball, and impale the ball carrier.
I throw a lot of passes where timing is the key issue. Throw the ball early... if the WR doesn't know it's in the air already, neither does the DB, if he's coverign the WR.
I usually go against what Troy does, and I call plays with one guy in mind (I do have a #2 option in mind, too, just in case a DB knocks down my first option WR). I know it sounds simple, but it helps. So many people think the key to passing success, is reading all of the WR's, when that really just stops you from paying attention to the pass-rush, which leads to too many sacks. Looking from WR 1 to WR 2 to WR 3 is way over-rated. If the WR is good, pay attention, because there's always gonna be a window of oppurtunity to zip the ball in there (which reminds me, don't just lob it up there... FIRE it in there). The only time I watch all of the recievers is when I try to throw the ball when I'm at my opponents 5 yard line to the endzone. There are two reasons I watch them all in goalline passing play situations. 1.) There's less room, which means the gusy are closer together, you don't have to look to far to look from WR 1 to WR 2, andso on. 2.)There's less room, which means you have to make the smartest possible throw (throw it where there are the fewest number of opposing players, to reduce INT's), because the defense doesn't have to cover so much ground when you're that close to the end-zone.
When doing my medium range passing, I call a lot of slants (be careful, WR's health can be challenged after he catches the ball... (a lot of big hits). I also use many different plays where the reciever goes out 10-15 yards, and then he comes back, which doesn't allow for a lot of running after the catch, but it usually gets the 1st down( a lot of routes do this, and I feel the curl is the least affective of them because my WR's seem to turn around a bit too slow for my liking).
Don't be afraid to have your WR's have very moderate looking averages, either... getting the 1st down should be the first thing on your mind. I have guys with large average per catch, because every now and then, I hit them with a slant pass, and they break it for anywhere in between 50yds. to a TD.
Pick on small CB's... stay away from the dudes who are real big, like J.Sehorn and B.Taylor, who are both like 6'3.
Also, scope out the other team's speed as it pertains to their secondary and LB's... use that small, speedy, elusive WR in the slot, and hope a slow S or LB has to cover him, because that's when you take a shot at the end-zone (remember not to lob it up there, though).
Before every play, look to the left and right. Occasionally, I notice the CPU is gonna blitz a CB, or maybe nobody is covering one of my WRs at all, leaving my WR all open. This is when hot routes are used. IF nobody will be covering your WR or TE, change his route so that he just takes off towards the endzone (this is the only time I allow myself to lob the ball up, avoinding serious overthrows).
Stay in the pocket. I say this, and it's hard to do sometimes, but it's the best thing. The only time your QB should be doin' soem serious scrabmling to the left or right, is if the other team's DT are just killin' the o-line. Try to stay in the pocket, though, beacause it will also reduce the number of yards lost when sacked. At times, youm ust also be willing (and able) to improvise. Occasionally, the CPU will do soem kind of all-out-mad-dog-blitz... scrambling is preferred then, but always try to avoid throwing on the run.
Be smart. WRs can tire quickly, and you always want the best ones to be fresh, and ready to go on 3rd downs. I like to substitute my best WR out during short-yardage situations, so I can call a 3 WR formation, without having my best WR in then.
Look closely at the plays you call. If the play is designed for the QB to roll-out, you better go or else the O-Line will leave you there and let the defensive line have it's way with your QB.
Sometimes, you need to forget your QB's completion percentage and just throw the ball away, because EVERYONE knows that sometimes the defense has everyone covered, and an incomplete pass looks better on your QB's stats than an INT. I throw the ball away 3-5 times a game, which has probably saved me 4 or 5 INT's so far this year. By the way... famiiarize yourself with the Intentional Grounding Rules, please!
I can't emphasize this enough... RUN THE BALL. This opens up the passing game more than I can explain. Run it early. Run it often. I know sometimes, it's halftime, and your HB has 17 carries and like 25 yards, and you think to yourself, "Why bother?" Well, keep doin' it... you'll probably break a big run eventually, and raise that sad lookin' average. Plus it does a world of good for your passing game. It make the Play Action plays more effective than you can even dream of. SO RUN THE DAMN BALL!
I know from reading this lengthy post, you may think I have a conservative offense. I guess in principle I do, but my results are all that matter, and my QB is leading the league in everything, except Pass attempts, INTs and Times Sacked. It's like they say... "the proof is in the puddin'".
These are the main ideas and concepts behind my high completion percentage, and very respectable passing success. I know they are all pretty basic things, but I still hope they are of some use to whoever may have happend to have a whiel to read this long post!
Feel free to let me know what you think, or add any suggestions, as they are always welcomed by me. --Legionnaire