Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is concerned longtime Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Will Grier are telling secrets.
As the New England Patriots prepare to travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Sunday, Elliott and Grier add tangible value with their knowledge of the inner workings of the Cowboys’ operation.
“Certainly Will knows where a lot of the bones are buried,” Schottenheimer said. “Zeke obviously does as well. Those are thing you talk about, and you think about, ‘OK, let’s adjust this one.’ We certainly have more than one hand signal for most of our core concepts, and sometimes you can use it to your advantage because they think they know what’s coming. And they hear something they think, ‘Oh, hey, it’s this’ and we’re smart enough to adjust those things.”
Grier was waived in August when the Cowboys made a trade to acquire Trey Lance from the San Francisco 49ers.
Elliott played 103 career regular-season games in Dallas and was released in the offseason. He’s a close friend of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and has unique insight, despite the team changing offensive coordinators from Kellen Moore to Schottenheimer. But head coach Mike McCarthy has taken over play-calling this season.
The cat-and-mouse game can work both ways.
Cowboys cornerback Stephon Gilmore played for the Patriots from 2017-20 and was a prized pupil of head coach Bill Belichick. Well-traveled wide receiver Brandin Cooks spent the 2017 season in New England.
“Everybody does it, you get a player that’s been somewhere, you talk to him about different things,” Schottenheimer said. “And then you’re very selective about how much you put into it. Excited to see Will, it’ll be great to see him, but I’m sure he is definitely being interrogated and spending a lot of late nights with their defensive coaching staff.”
–Field Level Media