Week 3: Cowboys Must Do This, Not That Against Seattle

Cory Mageors
September 19, 2018 - 3:59 pm
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sport

Categories: 

The offense opened up for a minute against the Giants, and then attempted to go back to doing what they do. The defense, on the other hand, was fantastic against a dumpster fire of an offensive line.

The defense will have to make another solid effort in order for the Cowboys offense to feel comfortable implementing more dynamite into their scheme this week.

The Seahawks aren’t doing anything outrageous offensively, so the key is going to be to stay disciplined in your plan. Know your assignment and don’t stray too far away from it. The only time to do that is when Russell Wilson breaks the pocket and gets moving, otherwise they don’t have big-time playmakers lurking all over the field like the Giants or the Panthers for that matter.

Here are some things to do and one thing not to do to win this week.

DO THIS

NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass

Staying disciplined means sometimes just filling the gap. Here, you see pre-snap Danny Trevathan starts to blitz his gap, and Roquan Smith is lined-up right in the middle of the line.

NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass

Once Trevathan and the Bears defensive line takes away any hole on the left side, Smith steps up and fills the space perfectly with a wrap up tackle of Chris Carson. If you stay disciplined in the run game against Seattle, you are going to be able to do far more attacking on passing situations and that’s going to be fun.

NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass

Pressure from everywhere. Khalil Mack isn’t even on the field on this play which makes it even more manageable. While the Cowboys have their own shop-wrecker in Demarcus Lawrence, Mack is a unique beast in his own right. Above it looks like the Bears are rushing four, while switching up and disguising coverage on the outside.

NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass

The front four put great pressure on, sealing off the edges so Wilson has nowhere to escape but up the middle. And you see a really good twist from Akiem Nicks and Aaron Lynch on the right side. By bringing in the corner blitz her off the right, it forces Wilson to move early.

NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass

Understanding the timing here, the Lynch has already working in the running lane and waiting with open arms for Wilson. As he makes his move, the ball pops lose and the Bears get the ball in great field position.

DO THIS

NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass

Keep finding ways to use Zeke or whoever it is you lineup in your backfield in the passing game. Here Jordan Howard runs full speed into the flat.

NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass

Trubisky identifies the linebacker and delivers a perfect pass to Howard that gets there just before the diving Mychel Kendricks.

NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass

Now I love the way Jordan Howard runs, but I feel like with this much space and Ezekiel Elliott’s speed and balance, this is a TD. Instead, Howard is stopped around the 8-yard line. All good though, Bears go up with a touchdown two plays later.

DON’T DO THIS

NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass

My only real complaint on the Cowboys defense is they gave up that touchdown late. I want a team that hates giving up points even in garbage time, from what I’ve seen from Kris Richard and how Rod Rarinelli works, this is going to be that type of team, but they have to deliver in moments like this.

Above, you see the Cowboys are lineup to defend the outside and keep everything in front of them.

NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass

Unfortunately, for some reason Jeff Heath dips down in anticipation that Manning will go to Beckham underneath, Jaylon Smith reads the same thing in Manning’s eyes and doesn’t follow Evan Engram through his route. 

NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass

This leaves one safety, already moving to the other side of the end zone deep, and a huge space behind Heath for Engram. It was a garbage time mop-up duty touchdown, but one I would like to see the Cowboys hem up so that it doesn’t happen again.

I think there are plenty of chances against the Seattle defensive line to have a very similar type week to what they had against the Giants, but it will all come down to discipline in stopping the run and applying just the right pressure to Wilson to make get him out of a rhthym.