I almost forgot there was a football game on Sunday. Man, it is not easy times right now, but the Redskins are game-planning the Cowboys this week, so we might as well too. Rex said in his presser just now that he is "confident we can win." Can you imagine the fallout if Rex does win?? Well, that's a long shot, but let's find some weakness anyway. Rafael Velas is a former blogger for Blogging the Boys, and ventured on his own for Cowboys Nation.com. You can read an excerpt of his 5-star film breakdown from the Cowboys' loss to the Eagles here.
Let's get into it...
1.) The Redskins went with heavy blitzing week 1 (corner) and Landry was a huge part of the Skins' success. What types of schemes have worked well defending the Cowboys potent offense of late?
I think Landry's absence changes everything. His week one may be the most impressive game I've seen a safety have. Blitzing, coverage, centerfield, charging the alley. He did everything.
Dallas has been much better offensively, but teams that stop them do three things:
i. They play cover two a lot and take away the deep ball. Jon Kitna, like Romo, works better going up the field.
ii. Run twists, especially at the interior linemen and the right side. Leonard Davis has bad feet. Marc Colombo's legs are wearing out. Overloads and stunts which cause those guys to think get through.
iii. Be strong against the run; This should probably be point one, since the coverage and pressure builds off winning 1st downs and getting Dallas into 2nd and longs. Teams that stop the run early fare better.
Try the same stuff. See if Dallas has worked on adjustments to stop it. Teams are attacking Stephen Bowen, who's not as strong holding the point as Olshansky or Marcus Spears was. Stopping the counter depends on ILBs who can read it fast and attack the gaps before the center or offside guard gets out and locks on. Keith Brooking was slow to react, and he's vital, because the Cowboys safeties are all over the place.
3.) The Redskins don't have the luxury of Alex Barron starting at RT this week. How has the Cowboys OLine held up the last few weeks, and what are the weak spots Haslett will try to attack?
It's a much, much better pass blocking unit, but this line has faded in December in recent years, because its old, and the most age and wear-and-tear is at right guard and right tackle. If Jim Haslett wants to run games, he'll flop Brian Orakpo out there and run some blitzes with his SS off that edge, even if his name isn't Laron Landry.
4.) Miles Austin shredded the Redskins week 1, do you foresee Garrett returning to his pass-happy ways with such a poor defense?
Garrett is a down-the-field guy. That's his ID. If he can get some first downs he'll attack as soon as he reaches his own 40. He doesn't have Dez Bryant and that hurts, but he'll take a few shots, unless Haslett changes up and plays a lot of soft zones.
5.) What's your prediction for this week on how it will play out?
I'll say Cowboys 24-20. Garrett, I am sure, wants to make amends for the 7 point meltdown in week one. He's gotten 27 or more in each of his five games as head coach. The Dallas defense has been soft, but they've played the Saints, Colts and Eagles the last three weeks. Grossman is no slouch, but Washington's O looks banged up and doesn't have as much balance and overall firepower as those other teams.
What do you think Redskins fan? Any chance the Redskins pull a miracle here? I predicted a Cowboys blowout before the Grossman