Championship Caliber Defense Let Boys Down

Cory Mageors
January 14, 2019 - 5:30 pm
Cowboys Defense

USA Today

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We knew two things about the Los Angeles Rams offense going into Saturday night.

  1. You had to stop the run game, namely Todd Gurley.
  2. If you could get around Jared Goff and make him uncomfortable, you had a very good chance to make something special happen.

The Dallas Cowboys defense was incapable of doing either at the Coliseum, and that’s the reason they lost the game.

We can debate moments and third down plays or fourth down plays on offense, but most importantly the defense was gashed play after play after play and they couldn’t do anything to stop it.

I heard the reports about the offense knowing exactly what the Cowboys defensive line was planning on doing based on their alignment, but that’s simple scouting. That’s simply studying. Honestly, we’ve heard the Cowboys talk about their own execution no matter what the opponent knows, and there is nothing better than when an opponent knows you are doing something and can’t stop you, but on this occasion, the Rams were the ones in the know.

What hurt the most was the fact that the Cowboys young linebackers were so dominant at times, but could make no difference this weekend because the Rams schemed to take them out of the game.

The Rams literally made a concerted effort to block at the second level, and they did it phenomenally. Even worse, when two linemen and a receiver or tight end made their way to block the second level, nobody on the front four was able to make a play.

Below is tweet I sent out @inthemageors of a play where the Rams washed everybody out of the play and Gurley had all the space in the world to run.

Now, we knew Gurley would be a problem to deal with, but not a single person saw the Corey Brewer situation with CJ Anderson.

In the 2011 Dallas Mavericks playoffs, Brewer had likely the greatest eight minutes of basketball we’ve ever seen. He had played like four minutes through the playoffs up to this point. The Lakers were up by 16, Brewer had five points, a big three, a steal and an assist and drew a foul on Kobe. When he left the Mavs were up 71-66 and they ended up winning 96-94. He was a spark plug that rebooted the engine of the Mavs.

Anderson was this against Dallas. Nobody would have thought he would lead the Rams in rushing yards or that he would be the battering Ram (pun intended) that would put an end to their season.

But he was. And the Rams offensive line, quite simply took everybody out of the way for him.

I guess we should have known though, he had 118 yards and a rushing and receiving TD last year when the Broncos dismantled the Cowboys.

He was not on anybody’s mind in this game though as he plugged away for 123 yards and two TD’s.

As for Goff, well the defensive line was unable to get any pressure on him and he was able to step up in the pocket and keep drives alive delivering throws when he had to.

Somehow, someway a defense that most of us can agree with was championship caliber for a period of time was outcoached and manhandled, and that’s a bitter pill to handle for yet another offseason.