Cowboys want to play fast too

IRVING, Texas -- Pace of play will be a big topic around the NFL today and this season because of what Chip Kelly is doing with the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense.

On Monday, the Eagles ran 53 plays in the first half and 77 for the game. No team ran more plays in the first half than Philadelphia in Week 1. The Baltimore Ravens were second with 47 and the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots were next, tied at 45.

“It’s certainly a trend to be in these no-huddle type offenses around the league,” coach Jason Garrett said. “It’s something we’ve done a little bit in the past. It’s was an effective tool for us (Sunday) night in the ballgame for a lot of different reasons. You control the tempo and maybe standardize them a little bit and also if you have some big guys up front (so) maybe you get a conditioning advantage as well. There are a lot of different reasons to do it, but the most important thing when you’re doing it, whether you’re playing fast or slow, is to play well and execute ball plays and move the football.”

The Cowboys finished with 74 offensive snaps. Only the Patriots (89), Ravens (87), Detroit Lions (77), Eagles (77), Houston Texans (75) and San Francisco (75) had more.

Garrett said the Cowboys do not have a target number of snaps they would like each week. The Cowboys had 19 extra snaps in their 36-31 win against the New York Giants because of four drives that took place after the six takeaways (two resulted in defensive touchdowns).

“The more the better obviously,” 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 … 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.”