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Defensive Line Play Key Against Dallas


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I've been thinking about keys to the game and matchups and what stands out to me as the biggest factors in the game all point to how our defensive line performs. We all know that Dallas has the offensive firepower to match points with our offense on any given Sunday. I doubt that our offense will get shut down. So the question is, what does our defense have to do to disrupt Dallas' offense?

Three things that are cliched as anything else in this game come to mind. Stopping the run, getting pressure on Romo, and mixing up coverages to confuse him. The play of the defensive line will dictate how effectively we can accomplish these feats.

First of all, stopping the run. Dallas has a **** of a three-headed monster in the run game. If they get it going, then Marion Barber becomes a force to be reckoned with in the fourth quarter (we want to avoid that at all cost). So, I believe that it is imperative that we keep their running game down early and force them to be one-dimensional. This might be good for us, as over the last few weeks, our run defense has been excellent with JA98 playing the NT position.

Next, is a combination of the second and third cliches. To upset a QB's timing and to cause turnovers as well as sacks you must create pressure. However, because our secondary is a bit suspect, it would be ideal to be able to do it mainly with the front four. This would allow BVG to be able to mix up his coverages to the fullest extent, making it difficult for Romo to make his reads while under duress as well allowing our safeties and linebackers (to a somewhat lesser extent) to help out our corners in coverage. Throughout his career, Romo has been known to make poor throws and decisions if he's under pressure. This could very go in our favor as he is sacked often and I firmly believe that their offensive line struggles in pass protection.

In short, if our defensive line is playing well as a unit, I think we can control Dallas. But, they are going to have to play well in every phase of the game. I think that we currently have the personell in place to do this. We'll just have to see on Sunday.

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