I spent a few minutes chatting with David Halprin, the lead editor of the SB Nation Cowboys' blog, Blogging the Boys, about a lot of the key matchup/issues going into Sundays. We cover how big the drop-off is in talent with the backup OL coming in, who will cover Fred Davis and Cooley in TE sets, and how much Jerry Jones' son, Stephen, is involved in the personnel decisions.
What can you tell us about the level of drop-off from talent with Kosier and Columbo out? Montrae Holland and Alex Barron are both 5+ year veterans, but it seems like the fire alarm has been pulled.
BTB: The good news is that Holland and Barron are vets, and they've started a lot of games in the NFL. But they aren't the talents that Colombo and Kosier are. Kosier is particularly good at pulling on our off tackle plays and sweeps, Holland isn't nearly as mobile. Colombo is a brawler at RT who's done a very good job over the past few years, Barron has talent, but can be very hit and miss, enough so that he was traded from the talent-starved Rams. It could be worse for Dallas, but there's definitely a drop-off in talent with Holland and Barron.
So I should have my friend in Vegas place an over bet in Redskins sacks for me?
BTB: Never underestimate the elusive Tony Romo.
Yea, can't rip on you for that...his step move from Orakpo at Dallas last year won the game. How has Doug Free fared at LT? He's only started 7 games in his career. Does he often need help or can he handle Pro-Bowl rushers like Orakpo and Trent Cole 1-on-1?
BTB: We're going to find out the answer to that question. When Free filled in for Colombo at RT during an injury last year, he played very well. So far in the pre-season, and in the week I spent at Cowboys camp, he's looked good. He's a great athlete with tremendous feet. I have confidence in him, but we won't truly know until he sees regular action at LT. Initially, the Cowboys will probably leave him alone, preferring to help Barron and maybe Holland.
What strategy do you think Wade Phillips will employ with DeMarcus Ware if the Redskins run 2 TE sets? Putting Ware in coverage would certainly help out Trent Williams.
BTB: No matter the package, Ware only rarely drops into coverage. The Cowboys would likely leave it to the SS and an inside linebacker to cover the TE's. Phillips will get Ware into the pass rush no matter what, he'll only drop into coverage to change things up, but rarely. If we have to, we'll go with an extra safety/LB hybrid to handle multiple TEs.
Cooley & Davis will cause some fits b/c we know Galloway won't...just like Roy doesn't for us.
BTB: In the recent past, the Cowboys have struggled to cover TEs. Roy Williams, the safety, not the WR, was a big liability. Gerald Sensabaugh is a better cover guy at SS, but TEs will still get theirs against us. I don't doubt that.
What percentage of the football moves would you say are Jerry Jones does versus his son, Stephen, who handles so much of the day-to-day operations? Is it correct to assume Jerry does all the drafting (at least early rounds) and any trades involving picks?
BTB: It's hard to say where the line is between Jerry and Stephen, although I think over the last few years Stephen is taking a bigger and bigger role. It's true Jerry has the last say in the draft room, but he allows a lot of input from others...I don't doubt though that Jerry has been handing over more power to Stephen, grooming him for the future, I wouldn't be surprised if relatively soon Stephen was running a large percentage of the show.
After reading this, it looks like the Redskins game plan should be focused around the Tight Ends. Fred Davis will be added to a lot of fantasy rosters on Tuesday is my prediction.